Libya’s Presidency Council has suspended Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush for “administrative violations” and barred her from traveling, its spokesperson said on Saturday.
The spokesperson, Najwa Wahiba, confirmed the authenticity of a document circulating on social media ordering Mangoush’s suspension for carrying out foreign policy without coordination with the council.
Libya’s transitional Government of National Unity issued a statement early on Sunday rejecting the council’s decision and lauding the minister’s efforts, saying she would carry her duties normally.
The statement, issued on the government’s Facebook page, said that the Presidency Council has “no legal right to appoint or cancel the appointment of members of the executive authority, suspend them or investigate them.” It added that these powers are exclusive to the prime minister.
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, a U.N.-selected assembly that set a roadmap for peace in Libya, chose a three-man Presidency Council headed by Mohamed Menfi until elections are held.
Disagreement over the council’s suspension of the foreign minister is likely to increase tensions between Libya’s rival factions as they try to work together after years of conflict.