TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s eastern parallel administration received Friday’s announcement of a new interim government to unite the country on Saturday, but added that it would only cede power if the eastern-based parliament approves it. His qualified statement of support, which leaves room to oppose the measure later on, illustrates the challenges that the UN-led efforts to find a political solution to a decade of chaos, division and violence may face. Libya has been divided between east and west since 2014, with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and a rival administration in Benghazi backed by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) based in the east. . On Friday, participants in the UN talks in Switzerland voted on a new presidential council and a new head of government to oversee the run-up to the national parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for December. Candidates lost in the vote, including the head of parliament based in the east, Aguila Saleh, the interior minister based in the west, Fathi Bashagha, and the minister of defense, Saleh Namroush, have made public statements supporting the new government. Under the rules agreed by the participants of the Libyan talks chosen by the UN to represent the country’s rival political currents, the new prime minister, Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, has three weeks to form a new government and present it to parliament. Parliament was split in 2019 when a group of lawmakers split up, making any agreement with a full quorum difficult. However, if it does not ratify the new government, participants in the UN talks have agreed that they have the power to do it themselves. Parliament had opposed the formation of the GNA, naming its own parallel administration based in the east under Abdullah Thinni. He said on Saturday that his administration would not withdraw until a full parliamentary assembly approved the new government. Haftar, who was appointed head of the army by the eastern-based parliament, did not immediately release a statement. However, his command headquarters said it welcomed the deal and asked everyone to help get to the December elections. The United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which supported Haftar during the war, and Turkey, which supported the GNA, have publicly expressed their support. The UN has previously said that those foreign powers broke an arms embargo on Libya that they had publicly backed.
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