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Relations between the Presidential Council and the Presidency of the Government in Libya entered a new cycle of tension as a result of the conflict of powers between the two parties, and the absence of consensus on a correct reading of the political agreement that defined the responsibilities entrusted to both of them.
The Council of Ministers of the Interim Government considered that the Presidential Council’s decision to suspend Minister of Foreign Affairs Najla Al-Manqush from work and refer her for investigation is not within its authority, and said in a statement, that the Presidential Council has no right to appoint or cancel the appointment of members of the executive authority, suspend them or investigate them, stressing The powers of the Presidential Council specified through the outcomes of the Libyan political dialogue signed in Geneva, do not give it any legal right to appoint, cancel the appointment of members of the executive authority, suspend them, or investigate them, and these powers are considered exclusive to the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity.
The Council stressed the need for all authorities to follow sound administrative procedures and to abide by their tasks specified in the Constitutional Declaration and its annexes and the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Geneva, calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to continue her work at the same pace, pointing to the success achieved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation that enjoys the highest levels of appreciation in circles. International, according to the statement.
The Presidential Council had decided, the day before yesterday, Saturday, to suspend the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Najla Al-Manqush, from work as a precaution, prevent her from traveling and investigate her, following her statements regarding the extradition of Libyan citizen Abu Ajila Masoud to America, claiming his involvement in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, accusing her of not coordinating with him on the policy file.
Last Thursday, Al-Manqush told the BBC that her country could cooperate with Washington to extradite the wanted suspect in the Lockerbie bombing, Abu Ajeila Muhammad Masoud, imprisoned in Tripoli, which sparked widespread controversy in Libya.
After the presidential decision to suspend her from work, the minister refuted the validity of the statements attributed to her about the Libyan citizen, Abu Ajila Masoud, the suspect in the Lockerbie case, and she “categorically denied that she mentioned the meaning during her interview with the British BBC,” explaining that she “answered a question.” Relates to the Lockerbie victims and the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, which took place in 2017, and was accused of carrying out by a British citizen of Libyan origin,” noting that “these issues are within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s Office, which is responsible for dealing with them between the judicial institutions in the two countries.”
Libyan observers believe that the decision of the Presidential Council came due to the minister’s failure to comply with the desire of the Presidential Council to appoint a number of ambassadors through mediation and nepotism, in addition to the minister’s statements regarding the necessity of withdrawing Turkish mercenaries from Libya.
The statements attributed to the minister sparked great controversy in Libyan circles, especially since the Lockerbie case file was closed more than 20 years ago. More demands for compensation and extortion, and summoning new parties to investigate will increase the complexity of the case,” noting that “Libya settled the Lockerbie case file once and for all in a bilateral agreement with the United States, the United Kingdom and other parties, including the Netherlands, and with the knowledge of the Security Council,” according to his assessment.
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