A senior official at Libya’s new Presidency Council denied on Saturday that groups who entered a hotel where the body meets had been armed or used force, playing down an incident that had appeared to illustrate the risks facing the unity government.
Earlier, the Council’s spokeswoman had said armed groups had stormed the Corinthia Hotel on Friday, though she also said nobody from the body had been in the building at the time.
“There was no kidnapping, gunfire, or an attack on me or the hotel,” the head of the Presidency Council’s office, Mohamed al-Mabrouk said in a social media video, adding that he had been in the hotel at the time of the incident.
The Presidency Council was chosen through a UN-facilitated process that also selected a new Government of National Unity that took office in March, replacing rival administrations in east and west.
Armed groups based in western Libya have voiced anger at the Government of National Unity’s Foreign Minister, Najla el-Mangoush.
In eastern Libya, commander Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) still hold sway.
In Tripoli, the armed groups that pushed Haftar back from the capital with Turkish support still control the streets.
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