Bloomberg News

Libya’s Premier Warns Against Political Feuds While War Persists

September 26, 2011

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Libya’s new rulers should put their infighting on hold until the battle to free all the country’s territory from Muammar Qaddafi’s rule has been won, Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said.

Political struggles should be postponed until “the soil of Libya is fully liberated,” Qaddafi is arrested and a constitution drawn up, Jibril said in an interview with Saudi newspaper Al Hayat. “Many have forgotten or deliberately ignore the fact that the land is not yet liberated and that the battle is not over.”

Leaders from Libya’s National Transitional Council are negotiating over the formation of a government to lead the country into elections, as its troops fight to gain control of Sirte, Qaddafi’s birthplace, and other pockets of territory still controlled by forces loyal to the former leader. Announcement of an interim Cabinet has been repeatedly postponed, and council officials said last week that another week may be needed.

Jibril said he was disappointed by the lack of unity among the opposition groups that combined to oust Qaddafi with the backing of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members including the U.S., U.K. and France, which carried out air strikes. Libya holds the largest oil reserves in Africa, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

“They began their political struggle early,” Jibril said. The council includes Islamic and tribal leaders as well as former members of Qaddafi’s government.

--Editors: Ben Holland, Louis Meixler.

To contact the reporter on this story: Caroline Alexander in London at calexander1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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