Libyan Prime Minister ‘prevented’ from flying to Malta

Prime minister of Libya’s internationally recognised government Abdullah al-Thinni will not participate in Malta meeting after being prevented from flying to the island, reports say

Abdullah al-Thinni
Abdullah al-Thinni

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni will not be able to attend a scheduled meeting in Malta tomorrow morning after being prevented from boarding a flight by security officials.

According to the Libya Herald, Libya’s internationally recognised Prime Minister was prevented from flying by security officials at Labraq airport on Tuesday morning.

Sources cited by the Libyan newspaper claim officials were carrying out orders from top military figures, seen as a reference to General Khalifa Hafter. A source claimed with MaltaToday that gunfire was heard during the standoff at Labraq.  This however could not be reliably established, with the sources saying the standoff involved the airport's security and an armed group.

MaltaTaday can confirm that al-Thinni will not be addressing a conference in Malta organised by the Libyan National Oil Corporation. He was scheduled to address international oil contractors early Wednesday morning.

This is not the first time that he has been stopped from catching a plane, the Libya Herald added. In July 2014, he was stopped by the one of the militias controlling Mitiga Airport from flying to Tobruk.

Sources told MaltaToday that the latest divergence between al-Thinni and Libyan security forces centres around the government’s failure to appoint a defence minister.

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