Ambassador rejects 'Plan B' idea of dividing Libya into three

ISIS beheads guards in Sabratha . French forces in in Benghazi

24 February, 21:23

    Damaged buildings in Benghazi Damaged buildings in Benghazi

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - Libyan ambassador to Italy Ahmed Safar said Wednesday that an alleged 'Plan B' to divide the country into foreign protectorates would be rejected by the population.

     he said in meeting with journalists at the Italian-Libyan Chamber of Commerce. The reference was to press leaks claiming that work is underway in Washington, Paris, London and Rome on an alternative action plan to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) if efforts to get the UN-backed unity government approved were to fall through. The 'Plan B' would focus on the Islamist-dominated Tripoli parliament and no longer the Tobruk one. It would also foresee the country's division into the three regions of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan, as had been seen in the Ottoman era.

    ''The three-way division of Libya is part of our past,'' the diplomat stressed. ''It is an old idea. Only Libyans will decide their future. And they want a united, democratic and liberal government.'' The international community is waiting an official request from the national unity government prior to engaging in substantial anti-ISIS activities in the country. The government, however, still does not exist. Yet once more, on Tuesday the Tobruk-based parliament postponed voting on the government under Prime Minister Designate Fayez Al-Sarraj, officially due to a lack of a quorum.

    The situation worries UN special envoy for Libya Martin Kobler, since - he stressed - military events are running ahead of political ones. The Libyan ambassador on Wednesday said that he hoped to get good news soon on the four Bonatti workers taken hostage in Libya in July.

    ''There is a great deal of collaboration between Italy, the crisis unit, and Libyan authorities to protect the four from harm,'' Safar said. However, Italian-Libyan Chamber of Commerce chief Gianfranco Damiano stressed that ''much time has passed. Other cases have been resolved much more quickly.'' The Bonatti employees Gino Pollicardo, Fausto Piano, Filippo Calcagno and Salvatore Failla were taken hostage on July 19 when they were returning from Tunisia in the Mellitah area, 60 kilometers from Tripoli, near the Mellitah Oil Gas Company compound. (ANSAmed).

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