Saied says GNA's international legitimacy cannot continue

Tunisian President says legitimate government will be born from Libyan people's will, insists Tunisia will not accept divided Libya.

PARIS - Tunisian President Kais Saied dealt a blow to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) after saying that their international legitimacy could not continue.

“The Tripoli authorities are based on international legitimacy, but this international legitimacy cannot continue. It is a temporary legitimacy, and its place must come from a new legitimate government, a legitimate government which would be born from the will of the Libyan people,” said Saied, at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday in Paris.

The Tunisian leader, who is also the first head of state to visit France since the country's confinement in the midst of the pandemic, said that his country would not accept a divided Libya "And I will say from this rostrum, in Paris, that Tunis will not accept the division of Libya.", said Saied, whose statement put Tunisian parliament speaker and leader of the Islamist party of Ennahda, Rached Ghannouchi in an embarrassing situation.

Ghannouchi last month congratulated Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s GNA, which is supported by Turkey and its thousands of mercenaries, on capturing Al-Watiya military airbase from the Libyan National Army in the battle for Tripoli.

Ghannouchi’s subjective stance on the Libyan conflict has sparked a fierce criticism from seven opposition parties for meddling in international conflicts and foreign affairs.

The opposition parties called on Tunisian President to intervene and respond to the accusations that Tunisia was providing logistical support to Turkey in its military intervention in Libya.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising overthrew leader Moamer Gathafi, who was later killed.

The country has since been divided between rival administrations to the east and west.