Libya political stakeholders lash out at British Foreign Secretary over rude Sirte remarks

Libya political stakeholders lash out at British Foreign Secretary over rude Sirte remarks

October 05, 2017 - 22:17
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Written By: AbdullahBenIbrahim

Boris Johnson visited Libya in May and August. Photo: Presidential Council

The Foreign Affairs Committee of House of Representatives and the Interim Government led by Abdullah Al-Thanni have strongly deplored British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s rude remarks about Sirte, regarding it “blatant interference in Libya’s internal affairs”.

In a statement on Thursday, the Tobruk-based parliament committee said the “unacceptable remarks” of Britain's top diplomat are “a violation of Libya’s sovereignty”, demanding a clarification and an apology to the Libyan people from the British government.

For its part, the Interim Government increased the drumbeat of commendation and threatened to reconsider Libya-Britain relations, especially the economic and investment ones.

The government accused Britain of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood group, Dignity Operation’s political foes, and working with other western countries to enable them to control the country for the interest of Britain.

“Who told the British businessmen they are welcome in Libya?” the government wonders, referring to Boris Johnson’s indication that there's a group of UK businessmen who want to invest in Sirte.

In Tripoli, the Presidential Council, which Britain recognizes, summoned British Ambassador to Libya Peter Millett and demanded a clarification for the remarks. Chairman of the Council Fayaz Sirraj told Ambassador Millett that Johnson’s remarks are unacceptable, but Millett explained that Johnson was referring to the bodies of ISIS militants.    

The High Council of State has not yet responded to Johnson’s remarks. 

Boris Johnson is facing backlash for his gaffe on Sirte. Speaking about his August visit to Libya, he told Conservatives attending the party's annual conference in Manchester that Sirte would become "the next Dubai” if the Libyans "clear the dead bodies away".