Libya deputy PM quits, saying he has ‘failed’

Libyans from Sirte who returned home after National Accord (GNA) forces drove Daesh out from the city. A deputy leader of the GNA resigned saying he had failed. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2017
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Libya deputy PM quits, saying he has ‘failed’

TRIPOLI: One of three deputy premiers in Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) resigned on Monday, saying he had failed in his mission.
Moussa Al-Kouni told a press conference in the capital of the chaos-ridden North African country that he could no longer stay in the post.
“I’m resigning because I have failed,” said a visibly moved Al-Kouni, who is originally from southern Libya and represents the Tuareg minority in the GNA.
“We (in the GNA) are responsible because we accepted this mission.
“We take responsibility for everything that has happened in the past year: Dramas, violence, murder, rape, invasion, the squandering of public funds... Regardless of the extent of the crimes, we are responsible,” he said.
Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 downfall of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
In March last year, the internationally backed GNA was formed, intended to replace two rival administrations, one in Tripoli and one in the country’s far east.
It is also the centerpiece of Western hopes to stem an upsurge of radicalism in Libya and halt people trafficking across the Mediterranean that has led to thousands of drownings.


PLO expects less overt racism from a Gantz administration

Updated 20 September 2019

PLO expects less overt racism from a Gantz administration

  • Retired general Benny Gantz is contesting the Israeli leadership from PM Benjamin Netanyahu

AMMAN, Jordan: A senior PLO official told Arab News that no substantive difference will occur with a possible Benny Gantz administration in Israel but “it will most likely have less overt racism.”

PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi noted that the head of the Blue and White party in Israel has not shown any significant interest in a major change of policy toward Palestinians. “Given the fact that he competed with (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu on who has been tougher with Palestinians and he didn’t oppose Netanyahu’s threat to annex the Jordan Valley, I don’t expect any serious change on the ground and for sure no change in regards to Jerusalem.”

On the other hand, Riyad Al-Maliki the Palestinian foreign minister called on the world community to engage with the “golden opportunity” for peace being offered by Palestinians saying president Mahmoud Abbas offers to negotiate with any new head of state in Israel. “We respect the results of Israel’s democratic elections and we are willing to sit with whoever establishes a new government to renew peace negotiations,”
Al-Maliki said.

The head of Palestinian diplomacy continued in a statement issued in Oslo on behalf of the Palestinian president saying that “this is a strong and clear statement to the Israeli society and the international community that the Palestinian leadership is ready for talks with the other side and that this is a reassurance that we have never rejected any chance for negotiations, a position that president Abbas assured US President Donald Trump in his four meetings with the American leader.”

SPEEDREAD

The head of the Blue and White party in Israel has not shown any significant interest in a major change of policy toward Palestinians.

While awaiting the Israeli response to this Palestinian peace overture, Ashrawi predicted, that a Benny Gantz administration might have a softer public stand regarding Palestinians.  “I expect less overt racism and violent military rhetoric from him,” she said.

The senior Palestinian official at the same time also expected that some small “living conditions” changes could occur if the opponent of Netanyahu became prime minister. “We are realistic and therefore we don’t expect an epiphany or an about-turn, nor do we expect a full commitment to a just peace, but it is possible that a different government in Israel might carry certain steps to ease pressure on Palestinians.”

The recent period has seen a major escalation by the Netanyahu government both verbally and in policy toward Palestinians and the Palestinian government. 

Ashrawi expects that the Israeli policymakers are aware of how “volatile” the situation has become under Netanyahu in recent years. Ashrawi told Arab News that a new Israeli government might want “to defuse this volatility” and make certain improvements on various levels, including the Gaza siege or on the movement of people and goods. 

“But we will not ask for such improvements,” she said.