Libya’s unity cabinet unveiled

LIBYA’S designated prime minister Abdelhamid Dbeibeh has proposed a large unity cabinet with 35 members, his office has said, ahead of a planned parliament meeting tomorrow to debate ratifying his government.

The Cabinet list has been subject to intense negotiation among Libya’s warring factions and powerful regional and political leaders, but an official said talks continued over whether to reduce the number of ministers.

Two slightly different versions of the list shown to Reuters by Libyan officials named a former culture minister, Lamia Bosidera, as foreign minister and Khaled Mazen as interior minister.

Dbeibeh would act as defence minister according to the lists. The names also include two deputy prime ministers from the east and west of Libya.

Dbeibeh was selected via a U.N. talks process in Geneva early last month to head an interim unity government to oversee the run-up to a planned election at the end of this year.

Libya has been split for years between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

The divided parliament aims to meet on Monday in the frontline city of Sirte, held by the LNA. However, some western-based members of parliament have cast doubt on attending, citing the presence of Russian mercenaries there.

A LNA source said the mercenaries had pulled back from the frontlines and the airport. The main coast road across the frontline at Sirte has not yet opened, though some members of parliament had said they expected it would be on Saturday.

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