Libya names new interim cabinet

Among newly appointed officials is an NTC military commander who spearheaded the push for Tripoli.

    NTC's El Keib made the announcement just hours after meeting the US ambassador to the UN in Tripoli [AFP]

    Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has announced a new government.

    The cabinet was announced by Abdurrahim El Keib, the NTC's prime minister, on Monday, just hours after meeting Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

    According to the Reuters news agency, among those named are Osama Al-Juwali, commander of the Zintan Brigade, that led the push for Tripoli in August, as the defence minister.

    Juwali was given the defence job as part of a cabinet line-up in which secularist liberals were dominant.

    Other positions named are Ali Tarhouni as the finance minister and Ibrahim Dabbashi as the foreign minister.

    The new government line-up, which will run the country until elections are held, was agreed at a meeting late on Tuesday of the NTC, a source in the council who has seen the list of appointments told Reuters.

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    However, in an indication of the tensions around the cabinet composition, the source later said some NTC members, after agreeing the appointments, had re-opened the discussions.

    "There are some people who do not accept some of the names," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. It was not clear which posts were the subject of debate.

    In other appointments, Libya's deputy envoy to the UN was named as foreign minister, an oil company executive was made oil minister and the finance minister in the outgoing government was re-appointed, the source said.

    The appointments come just days after the capture of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam and former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi.

    Saif al-Islam, the one-time heir apparent, was detained in the country's southern desert on Saturday by Juwali's Zintan Brigade.

    Mansour el Kikhia, a professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio told Al Jazeera that the timing is no coincidence.

    "I have no doubt that it's quid-pro-quo: We want a position in the government, we get Saif."

    Saif, along with three armed companions, were taken without a fight over the weekend, and Gaddafi's son was reportedly not injured.

    His captors have since said they would give the former leader's son a "fair trial".

    Abdullah al-Senussi was captured in the same area a day later, Mahmoud Shammam, Libya's information minister, told reporters in Tripoli on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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