Libya's new transitional government is starting from a much more comfortable position than its predecessor, the UN-backed Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj. In his case, despite the support of the UN and other countries, a fracture in the international community could be observed from the outset, which ended up being visible on the ground, with two sides totally at loggerheads over political and military power.
In contrast, this new stage is opening with the unanimous support of the international community, including those actors that have been supporting one side or the other in the conflict, such as Russia, Turkey and Egypt. All of them have applauded last Friday's election in which Mohammad Younes Menfi will head the country and Abdul Hamid Dbeibah will head the government.
The United States, the UN and the European Union were among the first to congratulate the new government, but other important actors such as the Arab League have been quick to join in. Dbeibah's ties with Turkey facilitate Ankara's support for the elected list, and the support shown by the LNA for the new government would suggest that it has not been frowned upon in Moscow either, as Russia is one of Haftar's main backers.
The acceptance of Russia and Turkey is key, not only for the good political course of the government, but also for the definitive exit of the mercenaries that both countries keep in the country in support of each side. Josep Borrell, the High Representative for European External Action, has pointed out that it is important that the military agreement reached by both sides at the end of last year be complied with. That agreement includes a ceasefire, an embargo on arms shipments and the departure of foreign fighters, something that has not yet been fulfilled, and which Borrell has called for now that a new government has been elected.
Paris, one of the actors that has sometimes been accused of supporting Haftar's actions, has already invited the new president of the Libyan Presidency Council to visit the country, with the aim of working towards the stabilisation of the country. Aguila Salé, one of the favourites to lead the country, has also shown his support for the new government, and has indicated that the Cyrenaica region will have a strong presence in the new Cabinet. Morocco and Algeria have joined in the recognition and welcomed the new government as good news for the country and the region.
Perhaps one of the most important steps has been announced by the spokesman for the Libyan Liberation Army, General Ahmed al-Mismari. He said in an interview that the Libyan army is an institution of the country, and therefore its command is now under the control of the new Presidency Council. He also reported that progress will be made towards the exchange of detainees and demining. However, he warned that mercenaries in the country, especially those linked to Turkey, must leave the country.
Both Menfi and Dbeibah have already begun diplomatic moves to secure international support. Dbeibah has met with the British ambassador to Libya, thanking him for his support for the resolution of the country's long-running conflict. For his part, Menfi announced that the first visit will be to neighbouring Egypt, which has also been supporting the Cyrenaica region in the conflict.