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Serraj reacts angrily to Bunyan Marsous Qatar visit

Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj has forbidden members of the military from having meetings abroad with foreign governments without permission from the Libyan authorities. He has threatened anyone who does so with legal action.

The announcement is in response to the visit to Qatar by a 15-man military delegation from Misrata. Led by the commander of the Bunyan Marsous (BM) operations room, Brigadier Bashir Al-Gadi, it flew to Doha three days ago to talk to the Qataris, but without permission from the PC or its defence ministry. The visit has been widely condemned for doing so.

In Doha, the delegation was received by the ruler of Qatar as if official, and according to former BM spokesman, Mohamed Al-Ghasri, who is one of the 15, he has promised to provide Misrata with a water desalination unit and a field hospital.

Serraj has declared that officers planning to hold meetings and discuss military issues with foreign authorities, either abroad or in Libya, must have prior approval from the supreme commander of the armed forces. Under the Libyan Political Agreement, that is the Presidency Council. Without such approval, he said, any contacts would result in a court martial.

The ruling comes into effect immediately.

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