First Published: 2012-06-07

 

Abdel Jalil wants what Libyans don’t: Reconciliation with Gathafi remnants

 

Meeting in Cairo between former officials of Gathafi's regime, envoy dispatched by Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil sparks widespread anger.

 

Middle East Online

By Ibrahim Majbari – TRIPOLI

What are Abdel Jalil’s motives?

A meeting in Cairo between former officials of Moamer Gathafi's regime and an envoy dispatched by Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil has sparked widespread anger and demands for an explanation.

"Abdel Jalil must explain the motives that prompted him to take this initiative without consulting the council," Intissar Al-Akili, a member of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), said.

She has even threatened to resign over the issue.

The May 27 meeting was part of a "national reconciliation" initiative headed by religious leader Ali Sallabi, who claims to be acting on Abdel Jalil's orders, and Ahmed Gathaf Eddam, who is the former leader's cousin and an ex-official.

Sallabi said that he was tasked by Abdel Jalil to "hold talks with Libyans of the former regime to see how to... alleviate the suffering and bring together Libyans in a state of justice, liberty, equality and law."

He added that the discussions centred on national reconciliation, reactivating the judiciary, and the right of the relatives of ex-regime supporters abroad to access consular services and participate in upcoming elections.

Thousands of supporters of the former regime fled Libya during and after the regime's fall, with the majority resettling in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco.

News of the Cairo meeting upset several Libyan personalities including Akili, who slammed the move as "an insult to the martyrs and the aims of the February 17 revolution" which led to Gathafi's ouster and killing in 2011.

"We will vigorously oppose these negotiations and if they are approved by the National Transitional Council, I will immediately present my resignation," she said.

She told local television the NTC had held an extraordinary meeting on the issue.

The NTC has distanced itself from the initiative, issuing a statement this week saying it had not commissioned negotiations and that there would be no negotiation with symbols of the former regime.

"There is no negotiation or accommodation possible with such figures. These people have to return to Libya to be tried," said NTC Vice Chairman Aknan Salem in televised remarks.

"Sallabi represents only himself," he added.

Meanwhile, 200 Libyan personalities, including journalists and activists, issued a joint statement expressing their "extreme concern."

Reconciliation, they said, should not include the members of the former regime who took part in the Cairo meeting, because they are at the "forefront" of those accused of murder, corruption and terrorism under Gathafi.

NTC spokesman Mohammed al-Harizi said that Sallabi's mission aimed only to urge Libyan families who had taken shelter in Egypt to come home and convey to elements wanted by the authorities that they will face a fair trial.

NTC members have publicly accused Harizi of watering down this week's statement.

Several sources said the initiative was begun by Gathaf Eddam, an adviser and cousin to Gathafi who was also in charge of Libya-Egypt ties.

He resigned several days after the start of the 2011 revolt but made no major moves in favour of the uprising. Some former rebels have questioned his defection and accuse him of having enlisted pro-Gathafi fighters.

Ali Lahwal, ex-coordinator of Libyan tribes and a representative of Gathafi's tribe the Gathafa, was another former regime official present at the Cairo meeting.

 

Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

3,800 Syrian civilians killed by Russian strikes in one year

World leaders attend Shimon Peres’ funeral

UN warns 100,000 people trapped in South Sudan town

Bulgaria approves full-face Islamic veil ban

Jordanians rally against gas deal with Israel

Israel pays Turkey $20 million compensation for Gaza flotilla raid

Egypt MP suggests university virginity tests

Morocco to speed repatriation of citizens in Germany illegally

Turkey opposition leader condemns Erdogan’s ‘coup against democracy’

French jets set off to join action as battle for Mosul looms

Moroccan left hopes to offer 'third way' at polls

Renault signs Iran auto venture

Saudi border guard killed, 3 civilians hurt by shelling from Yemen

Turkey issues warrants for judicial, prison staff

MSF warns Syria, Russia to stop ‘bloodbath’ in Aleppo

Russia waiting to see OPEC freeze deal details

Police raid Casablanca market after rumours of sex dolls

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump