Libya’s former interim prime minister calls for dialogue with radical Islamists

The Libya Herald reports: Mahmoud Jibril has said that Libya’s transition to democracy cannot succeed without an all-embracing dialogue that would include even radical Islamists with links to Al-Qaeda.

The National Forces Alliance chief made the remarks during a meeting of moderate political leaders in Cairo aimed at combining and learning from different regional experiences in the wake of the Arab Spring uprising that swept across North Africa and the Middle East last year.

The remarks come as the Government and the National Army seek to impose greater control over the myriad armed militias still operating in Libya, a process which Jibril said could not succeed unless all factions and political groups felt included in the process.

“When you are excluded from taking part in the future of your country, you may become extreme,” he said in an interview on Monday. “In a national dialogue, no one is excluded; no Salafists, no Al-Qaeda, no Ansar Al-Sharia will be excluded.”

Jibril reminded his audience that many Islamist groups played an important role in helping to topple the Qaddafi regime during last year’s revolution, and argued that they should be enticed back into civilian [life] by providing them with jobs and giving loans to small business as opposed to alienating them from Libyan society.

“The way we should deal with them is by dignifying and appreciating what they did.”

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