The United Nations’ special delegate to Libya was “humiliated” by the Tripoli authorities this morning, when his press conference was interrupted and told he needed permission to hold it at Mitiga airport, the Libya Herald reported.
Martin Kobler was cut short at his press conference by the Tripoli administration’s Foreign Media Department head Jamal Zubia.
“When you want to hold a press conference you have to take permission from the Foreign Media Department because we are responsible. By law, all the people (journalists/media) who are here, I must cancel their accreditation because this is the law,” Zubia said.
“OK. We apologise and please do not cancel their accreditation. Thank you very much. Thank you,” a bemused Kobler replied.
Kobler then promptly ended his press conference and left the hall at Mitiga airport heading straight to his waiting jet and flew out of Libya, the news website reported.
It is not clear exactly why Zubia decided to take such a course of action, but analysts felt that it was probably a reaction of frustration to Kobler’s decision not to hold a joint press conference with the General National Congress in Tripoli.
Kobler has refused to concede any ground to the GNC on renegotiating the Libyan Political Agreement and its Government of National Accord, the newly recognised Libyan government sanctioned by the UN Security Council.
He left Tripoli with the GNC refusing to accept the Skhirat agreement.
Libya Herald said that the UN obtained landing permission at Mitiga airport from the Tripoli-based Libyan Civil Aviation, ostensibly making Kobler an official guest of the GNC and its president Abu Sahmain.
Delegates from Libya's warring factions signed a U.N.-brokered agreement last month to form a national unity government, a deal that Western powers hope will bring stability and help to combat a growing Islamic State presence.
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