Qatar reiterates support for Libya’s UN-backed political process

Qatar’s foreign minister says the Gulf state backs efforts to end instability and ‘foreign interference’ in Libya.

Libya's interim unity government came into being in March - replacing two rival administrations, one based in the capital Tripoli and the other in the country's east - to lead the country to elections in December [Mahmud Turkia/AFP]

Qatar has reiterated its support to Libya’s internationally-backed political process, which aims to end 10 years of chaos and “foreign interference” in the North African country.

“We support the UN-sponsored political process in the hope that it preserves the territorial integrity of Libya and prevents foreign interference in its affairs,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on a visit to the Libyan capital on Sunday.

“Our exchanges were fruitful, in particular on support for the transition process in Libya … Qatar’s position is firm,” he told reporters, standing alongside his Libyan counterpart, Najla al-Mangoush.

Since Libya’s new government took power, several countries have reopened embassies, and al-Mangoush said she hoped that Doha would soon follow suit.

“I think I have had good news,” al-Mangoush added, without providing further details.

The toppling and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising plunged Libya into a bloody struggle for power.

But in October, rival groups signed a truce, setting in motion a United Nations-led process.

Libya’s interim unity government came into being in March, replacing two rival administrations – one the UN-recognised government based in the capital Tripoli and the other in the country’s east allied to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar – to lead the country to elections in December.

“Qatar played a crucial role in supporting the Libyans’ ambitions to become a democratic state,” said Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina, reporting from Tripoli.

Traina said the Qatari delegation and their Libyan hosts discussed ways stabilising Libya to allow for elections to take place at the end of the year.

Qatar, along with Turkey, had backed the government in the west of Libya, while countries including the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt had backed the eastern forces.

According to the UN, more than 20,000 foreign mercenaries and military personnel are still in Libya.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies