Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, a businessman-turned-politician, hails ties with Turkey, saying Ankara has huge capabilities "to help Libyans achieve their real goals."

"Turkey was the only country that the Libyans could freely travel to during the war," says PM Dbeibeh. (AA)

Libya's new Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh has described Turkey as a "friend and ally", saying his government will strive to achieve peace in his war-torn country and Ankara can help achieve those goals. 

"We maintain great solidarity with the Turkish state and people," Dbeibeh told Anadolu Agency in his first interview after being elected to lead an interim government.

"Turkey is an ally, friend, and a brotherly state, and it has huge capabilities to help the Libyans achieve their real goals. Turkey is considered a real partner [in] Libya," he said.

"Turkey was the only country that the Libyans could freely travel to during the war. Turkey has kept its airports open to the Libyans and did not close its embassy in [capital] Tripoli."

Dbeibeh said the freedom of movement will reflect positively on economic cooperation between both countries. 

Interim government leaders

On Friday, Libya's rival political groups agreed to form an interim unity government after five days of talks in Switzerland.

Mohammad Younes Menfi was elected to head the Presidency Council of an interim government and Dbeibeh as its prime minister. 

Mossa al Koni and Abdullah Hussein al Lafi were also voted on the three-strong Presidency Council.

"My government will work to establish peace in Libya and solve the major problems facing the country," Dbeibeh said, adding the election of an interim authority by the Political Dialogue Forum "would serve the best of Libya and its people."

Government formation

Dbeibeh said the new government will be formed after three weeks before being put for a vote of confidence by the Libyan Parliament.

"There will be a fair representation of all segments of the Libyan people and all regions, but the focus will be on [achieving] the technocrat goals," he said.

Asked about the possibility of reappointing former government members in his interim government, Dbeibeh said, "This is possible. The government will be technocrat and whoever has proved his efficiency will be among the government team".

Ties with Haftar-controlled region

On Saturday, the eastern Libya-based regime of Abdullah al Thani, allied with warlord Khalifa Haftar, conditioned the transfer of power to the new executive authority on the approval of the Tobruk-based parliament.

Dbeibeh said, "Our government must win parliamentary approval from the Tobruk-based parliament."

"Al Thani announced that he would wait for the approval of the new government and this is logical," he said. "I think the (Tobruk-based) parliament has welcomed the results of Libya's political dialogue."

Libya has been wracked by civil war since the deposition of ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Based at the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under an UN-led agreement. 

However, long-term political settlement efforts have failed due to a military offensive by Haftar's illegal militias.

Al-Sarraj's internationally recognised government has been battling Haftar's forces since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Dbeibeh holds sway among political circles

Born in 1958 in Misrata in northwestern Libya, Dbeibeh has been known as an influential businessman in the construction field. He is an independent person who is accepted among Libyan political circles.

After the Libyan revolution that ousted Gaddafi in February 2011, he headed the oldest Libyan football club, Al Ittihad Club.

Dbeibeh founded Libya al Mustakbal (Libya Future) Movement and enjoyed the support of western tribes. He holds a master's degree in engineering from Canada.

Source: AA