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Interior minister calls on foreign companies to resume work in Libya

Libyan interior minister Fathy Bashga on Friday met with the South Korean ambassador in Libya, Choi Sung-Soo, and affirmed that the government has adopted new security measures to ensure safety of foreign companies.

During the meeting, Bashga called on foreign companies that used to operate in Libya before 2011 to return to the country, vowing to eradicate any security threats.

Most of the foreign companies and embassies in Libya have left the country after the outbreak of armed fighting in the capital Tripoli between rival militias.

Security issues have been the biggest obstacles facing Libya since Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster in 2011. Libya has spiraled into civil war between several parties competing for the power causing divisions inside the national army.

Lately, there have been positive movements by the government in this regard. On October 24, the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanalla held a rare conference in Benghazi. The conference was found a bold move as all the NOC’s previous events were held outside the country due to security concerns.

Since Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster, Libya has spiraled into civil war between several parties competing for the power causing divisions inside the national army.

There have been two major factions on the ground since 2014; one led by Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), who now controls the eastern side of Libya in cooperation with the Tobruk parliament.

The other is led by Faiez Serraj, chairperson of the Presidential Council of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups took advantage of the conflict and established a foothold in the country, posing threats to Libya’s neighbors.

To put an end to the civil war and to establish a national unity government, an agreement was signed in December 2016 between the political factions involved in the conflict under the supervision of UN envoy Martin Kobler in the city of Skhirat, Morocco.

However, the Skhirat agreement failed to achieve its purpose because it lacked consensus between the two parties, as it was only recognized by the GNA.

In December 2017, Haftar declared the expiry of the agreement, refusing to recognize Serraj’s government.

“The validity of the so-called political agreement – and all the bodies emanating from it – has expired,” Haftar said.

He added that the Tabrouk government in the east will not submit to any party unless it gains “legitimate power.”

Hence, Egypt held several meetings with Libyan political factions to resolve the crisis and amend the agreement, most recently, the 7th round of negotiations in Cairo that produced the unifying draft.

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