Libya’s Presidency Council suspends foreign minister, gov’t rejects the decision

Libyan Foreign Minister Najla el-Mangoush attends a joint press conference at the conclusion of the Libya Stabilization Conference, in Tripoli, Libya, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed

TRIPOLI, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Libya’s Presidency Council has suspended Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush for “administrative violations” and barred her from traveling, its spokesperson said on Saturday.

The spokesperson, Najwa Wahiba, confirmed the authenticity of a document circulating on social media ordering Mangoush’s suspension for carrying out foreign policy without coordination with the council.

Libya’s transitional Government of National Unity issued a statement early on Sunday rejecting the council’s decision and lauding the minister’s efforts, saying she would carry her duties normally.

The statement, issued on the government’s Facebook page, said that the Presidency Council has “no legal right to appoint or cancel the appointment of members of the executive authority, suspend them or investigate them.” It added that these powers are exclusive to the prime minister.

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, a U.N.-selected assembly that set a roadmap for peace in Libya, chose a three-man Presidency Council headed by Mohamed Menfi until election are held.

Disagreement over the council’s suspension of the foreign minister is likely to increase tensions between Libya’s rival factions as they try to work together after years of conflict.

(This story corrects government name in third paragraph)

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami in Tripoli, additional reporting by Moaz Abd-Alaziz and Nayera Abdallah in Cairo,
Writing by Angus McDowall and Nayera Abdallah
Editing by Peter Graff and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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