Seif Al-Islam Gaddafi For a Peaceful Way Out of The Crisis for Libya
Two representatives of the Libyan Patriotic Movement in support of Dr. Seif al-Islam Gaddafi’s candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections in 2019 in Libya held meetings with political and public figures and journalists in Moscow.
Interview with Dr. Mohammed al-Goddi, political advisor to Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
"We are supporters of a peaceful way out of the crisis!"
- How do you assess the current situation in Libya?
- Since 2011 (March 19, 2011, the NATO alliance began bombing Libyan cities and towns), the situation in Libya continues to deteriorate. In 2014, elections were partially held, but not all citizens of Libya were admitted to these elections, and even those who were chosen are in great disagreement with each other. As a result of these elections, the government of the so-called “national consensus” came to power, but, unfortunately, there is no agreement, the discord has deepened even more, and besides, external forces constantly intervene in Libya’s affairs. All the terms of operation of the government and the parliament, which they agreed upon, are already overdue, and so far they have not been able to agree on the extension of the agreements. As a result, there are two governments in Libya, one in Tripoli, the other in Baida, and another body created, which is called the "Supreme Legislative Council," it is also called upon to play the role of parliament. And all the country's institutions were divided: financial, political and all the rest. For example, in Libya there are two central banks and two oil companies, the army is also divided between the West, East and South of the country. This is the situation in Libya today.
Under Muammar Gaddafi, there was justice; laws were in place to protect society, especially children. Until 2011, before the intervention of international forces, the Libyan people had a good standard of living. The Libyan people themselves solved their internal problems. Those forces that intervened in our lives were against the people's system. The Jamahiriya died, and we no longer have a state. Of course, the reason for this is the intervention of foreign forces, which used the internal problems of Libya for their selfish purposes. Today, ordinary people in Libya are not only in need of basic nutrition, but they cannot even ensure their personal safety. Even in their homes, they do not feel safe, because banditry has spread throughout Libya.
In Libya, there is no state system that preserves the country itself. Now we see chaos. Libya today is an open territory, and unfortunately, unkind people invade it. Not only Africans, but the Libyans themselves are leaving the country. People go to Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt. Many of the other African countries migrate to Europe through Libya. These are problems not only of Libya, but also of Europe. As long as there is no state in Libya, illegal migration will continue.
At the time of the Jamahiriya, the people themselves chose what they wanted from the state. But after 2012, we, supporters of Muammar Gaddafi, were deprived of the opportunity to participate in solving internal issues. An antidemocratic law was introduced prohibiting supporters of Gaddafi from participating in elections. We were not allowed to participate in governing the country. But we know how to solve our problems. We were not allowed to engage in political activities and even participate in the negotiations on Libya at the international level.
The law on political parties, adopted in 2012, does not actually work, so we cannot say that the discord between Libyans is a political discord. This is a rift between different trends that exist in Libyan society. Most Libyans speak in favor of the regime that was in Libya before, and the symbol of this former government is Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. Most Libyans support it. And I especially want to note that it is supported by the majority of young people in Libya. And, of course, those who have always been a supporter of the Jamahiriya stand up for him.
- What can you say about the army of Libya?
- Efforts are being made, in particular by Egypt, to unite the army, military units, but, unfortunately, these efforts have not yet yielded results. When we talk about the army, we mean the army, which was until the end of 2011. This power is still divided. In the east of the country, these are military units under the command of Haftar, in the West they are different forces that are somehow connected with the so-called “government of national accord”. Many soldiers and officers (the army of the Jamahiriya, which fought in 2011 against terrorists and NATO special forces) joined the ranks of the military units of Haftar, some of whom formed their own various armed groups. Therefore, it cannot be said that there is a single army in Libya, the military forces in Libya are fragmented.
- What can you say about the struggle of the Libyan people against international terrorism?
- Unfortunately, the absence of state power in Libya makes it possible for terrorist groups, gangsters and mercenaries from different countries to do their atrocities on Libyan soil. These groups seized several cities in Libya, such as Sirte, Born, and even partially Benghazi and other cities.
We see direct intervention of external forces in the affairs of Libya, there are differences between these forces, and this worsens the situation in Libya. There are terrorists in different places, taking advantage of the fact that there is no single government in Libya.
And there are forces that incite hostility.
There are personalities chosen by the Libyans, there are individuals who are appointed from outside.
The reason for the enmity between the Libyans is the intervention of foreign forces in the affairs of Libya. And for the seven and a half years that have passed since 2011, international organizations could not find a solution to the Libyan crisis.
- In January next year, the National Congress will be held in Libya. Your position.
We are ready to participate in the convocation of the Libyan National Congress, which is scheduled for January next year, and in the elections scheduled for the spring of 2019. Recently we have been invited to participate in international negotiations.
The participation of all the Libyan parties is the most important thing in the Libyan “road map” of the United Nations. We have always advocated that the Libyans themselves conduct negotiations with the Libyans and themselves develop a road map for overcoming the crisis.
Our position corresponds to the position of the UN representative on Libya, Hasan Salame, who proposed to convene the Libyan National Congress in 2019, we fully support him, and our point of view coincides with his point of view.
At this congress, the Libyans will discuss the path to national reconciliation and measures that will facilitate this. Differences concern both political and social issues. All this, of course, takes time.
The topic of reconciliation will be proposed as the main one at the National Congress. After the start of reconciliation, a different climate will be created in the country, and it will be necessary to prepare for the adoption of the Constitution.
There is disagreement between some political clans of Libya. Until now, they are at enmity with each other and do not understand that it is necessary to compromise. And international and regional forces continue to fuel conflicts within the country. The first step towards compromise and future presidential and parliamentary elections should be social agreements.
- How is going the development of the Constitution of Libya?
- A commission was created to prepare the text of the Constitution, there were great differences, and it was not possible to create the atmosphere that would contribute to the drafting of the Constitution. In the end, we prepared a draft and proposed it to Parliament. And the Parliament decided to vote "for", but there are serious objections from some forces. We think that if there is a people's referendum, then there will be an answer to these forces.
- I remember that Safe Al-Islam Gaddafi worked for several years on the draft Constitution of the Jamahiriya, and in early 2011 he had already completed this work ...
- The point of view of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi is the point of view of the Libyan youth. He is the reformer. He found answers to many questions, and performed his work well. Yes, the draft Constitution was already ready. He achieved agreement between various political forces and freed all political prisoners. He was also developing at that time a large project for the development of Libya. He settled the problems that existed in relations with other countries. He prepared a draft update of the national youth policy and the use of human resources. In Africa, Libya was an advanced country in this area. This is a great merit of Seif al-Islam, and Libya will not forget this.
- Is it possible to say that the Congress, which will be held in January next year, will really become the beginning of the internal Libyan dialogue?
- Saf al-Islam Gaddafi called for dialogue between Libyans back in 2011. To the dialogue without any preconditions, to the dialogue without foreign intervention. And today the Libyans see that this dialogue, during which solutions will be found, is extremely necessary.
- Is it possible that a provisional government for the transitional period of preparation for elections will be created at the Congress in January?
- Libyans are already fed up with “transition periods”. All this has been going on since 2011, Of course, it is very important who exactly will rule the country until election day. After all, the preparation of presidential and parliamentary elections will take several months. Therefore, if at the Congress we, the Libyans, agree among themselves what the government of national accord should be for this period, it will be so. After all, the main task of this government should be only the preparation for the elections.
How do you assess the current Russian policy towards Libya?
- We were given the opportunity to explain during the meeting our point of view and our vision of how to solve the problem of Libya. We realized that he has a complete picture of the problem itself and its causes. We set out our vision of holding both the congress and the road map for the elections, and solving the problem as a whole. That is, we set forth the point of view of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi on all this. In addition, we discussed the problems that arose as a result of external interference in the affairs of Libya, and outlined our position.
- In the administration of the Prime Minister of Russia, there were words about the “revitalization” of Russian-Libyan cooperation...
- We had good relations with the Soviet Union and Russia at all times.
Until 2012, there were many Russian companies that worked in Libya. There was an important project for the construction of the railway. Since 2012, this project and other mutually beneficial projects have been frozen. Of course, Russia is committed to ensuring that the Libyans themselves have restored the country's statehood in Libya. This will allow our countries to establish cooperation in all areas.
Russia has lost a lot in Libya since 2011, because there were many economic and trade contracts and agreements between our countries. Large projects worth billions of dollars were being implemented. In 2011, Russian companies left Libya. If a peace period now begins in the life of Libya, Russian companies can return and work as widely and successfully as they have previously worked in Libya.
- You met with Russian political and public figures. Your impressions?
“We came to Russia with the hope that it would support us in an effort to work together with the UN and implement a roadmap that will lead to open, democratic elections in Libya.” Russia has always responded and came to the aid of the countries of the Arab world. And today, for us, supporters of a peaceful exit of Libya from the crisis through democratic elections, it is important to secure political support from Russia.
The interview was taken by Nikolai Sologubovsky.