Libya: Tobruk govt wants UN envoy replaced, 'not neutral'

US special forces on ground. Benghazi relatives blame Clinton

10 August, 16:22

    U.N. envoy for Libya Martin Kobler U.N. envoy for Libya Martin Kobler

    CAIRO - The foreign minister of the Libyan interim government in Tobruk under Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani on Tuesday called in a statement for UN Envoy for Libya Martin Kobler to be replaced with a ''more neutral and efficient figure''.

    The statement claimed that the UN mission had committed several violations, in reference to Kobler's attempts to impose the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister-Designate Fayez Serraj's national unity government. The statement, published by Egyptian news agency MENA, said that Kobler had violated political agreements and had sought to impose the 'Council of State' as legislative body instead of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives. It added that he had proved unable to achieve his mission as international mediator.

    Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday welcomed the vice president of Serraj's Presidential Council of Libya (supported by the UN, Ed.), Ahmed Maetiq, to Cairo as part of Egyptian diplomatic efforts to bring the rival sides in Libya closer. Shoukry told Maetiq that Egypt was interested in supporting the agreement between the two sides and in ensuring a climate that will foster the application of the Skhirat agreement, safeguarding the Libyan constitutional institutions in place. Maetiq praised Egypt's role in maintaining stability and peace and its anti-terrorism efforts. The ministry spokesman added that the possibility was also discussed of finding an agreement ensuing the application of the Skhirat agreement and that the Tobruk parliamentary body ensure its constitutional support for the Tripoli-based unity government. US airstrikes meanwhile continue on Sirte against positions held by groups linked to the Islamic State (ISIS). There have been 28 targeted bombings since August 1, when the operation to support the Serraj government began, reported US Africa Command.

    The previous day's airstrikes hit over a dozen positions held by the jihadists. 

    According to the Washington Post, U.S. Special Operations forces are providing direct, on-the-ground support for the first time to fighters battling the Islamic State in Libya, U.S. and Libyan officials said, coordinating American airstrikes and providing intelligence information in an effort to oust the group from a militant stronghold.

    The positioning of a small number of elite U.S. personnel, operating alongside British troops, in the coastal city of Sirte deepens the involvement of Western nations against the Islamic State’s most powerful affiliate.

    U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a mission that has not been announced publicly, said the American troops were operating out of a joint operations center on the city’s outskirts and that their role was limited to supporting forces loyal to the country’s fragile unity government.

    Benghazi victims' parents file lawsuit against Clinton. For wrongful death and defamation

    ROME - The parents of two Americans killed in a 2012 attack on diplomatic facilities in Benghazi on Tuesday filed a wrongful death suit against the Democratic nominee for the upcoming US elections, Hillary Clinton. The suit also accused Clinton of publicly defaming Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of the two men killed: communications specialist Sean Smith and CIA contractor Tyrone Woods. ''The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton's 'extreme carelessness' in handling confidential and classified information,'' such as the location of State Department employees in Libya, the lawsuit filed in a federal court claims. Ms Smith, a strong and vocal supporter of Clinton's rival for the White House, Donald Trump, said at the Republican National Convention last month that ''I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son''. Clinton has been cleared of wrongdoing in both the Benghazi attack and email cases, but FBI director James Comer last month said she was guilty of ''extreme carelessness'' concerning her emails. The Clinton campaign noted that the plaintiffs are being represented by Larry Klayman, a lawyer who they say ''has been unsuccessfully attacking the Clintons for decades''. The Democratic nominee's campaign added that ''there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton''.

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