(Libya's Undersecretary of the Oil and Gas Ministry, Mr Refaat Mohammed al-Abbar)

Libyan Deputy Minister of Oil & Gas calls for preserving the unity of the energy sector

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Libya’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas for Production Affairs Mr Refaat Mohammed al-Abbar welcomes the formation of the national stability government and confirms their efforts for a peaceful exchange of power as well as preserving the unity of the oil and gas sector.

“We are confidently counting on the modern executive authority to build a new era and call for providing the necessary funding to the National Oil Corporation as a non-political economic institution 24/7” he said on Friday (March 18).

The oil-rich North African country woke up to two prime ministers in power in February after last planned elections — scheduled for December 2021 — were postponed, with the country’s National Elections Commission citing inadequacies in electoral legislation and challenges related to candidates’ eligibility.

In February 2022, the country’s eastern-based House of Representatives which is based in Tobruk voted to designate a new Prime Minister and government, over the objections of Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, prime minister of the UN recognised Government of National Unity (GNU). Dbeibah refused to hand over power, arguing that his own administration, installed last year under a United Nations-led peace process, had a mandate to rule until elections.

Nevertheless, the House of Representatives went forward with the formation of a new government, designating Fathi Bashagha, a former Minister of Interior, as the new Prime Minister. On 24 February, the High State Council – based in the internationally recognized administration’s centre of government in Tripoli and born out of the UN-supported Libyan Political Agreement of 2015 – rejected the parliamentary declaration, setting up a serious impasse.

The UN’s top official in Libya, Stephanie Williams, had offered on March 5 to mediate between Dbeibah and Bashagha in an attempt to bring Libya’s rival administrations together. Both sides have been asked to nominate six delegates each to form a joint committee to work towards a constitutional framework for elections.

The crisis over control of executive power in Libya could lead to instability and parallel governments, the U.N. political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Wednesday (March 16) .

The United Nations is seeking to resolve the crisis by pushing for new elections soon.

With reporting by Reuters, Al Jazeera, United Nations News