Libya: Swiss welcome nomination of new interim government

Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya as seen at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Switzerland has welcomed the selection of a new unified transitional authority for Libya. The body has been tasked with paving the way for Libyan elections later this year.

This content was published on February 5, 2021 - 18:46

“This is a major step forward toward reconciliation and lasting peace,” the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs tweeted on Friday eveningExternal link.

The United Nations-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, hosted in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland over five days, brought together 75 delegates who elected a unified executive authority. The authority is tasked with promoting reconciliation within the country and leading Libya to national elections scheduled for December 24, 2021.

The forum chose Mohammed al-Menfi as presidency council head and Abdulhamid Dbeibeh as prime minister.

Switzerland hosted the forum as part of its commitment to supporting the UN-backed Libyan peace process and to fulfil the peace and security objectives set out in its Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23, a FDFA statement said.External link 

It said that it supported the work of the UN and Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General Stephanie Williams and was ready to host any further meetings if required.

Libya has been engulfed in chaos since a NATO-backed intervention ended Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade rule in 2011 and has been split since 2014 between warring  administrations in the west and east, backed by foreign powers.

However, with many factions in the country afraid to surrender influence, and with foreign powers invested in local allies, the new government may rapidly come under pressure, experts say.

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