Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, the distinguished Libyan politician and diplomat, left an indelible mark on the world stage with his pivotal roles in Libyan politics and international diplomacy. However, the news of his passing on September 16, 2023, at the age of 83 has left many wondering about the circumstances surrounding his death. In this article, we delve into the question: What happened to Abdul Ati al-Obeidi?
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi’s illustrious career was marked by his service in various top posts in Libya under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi. Notably, he held the position of Prime Minister from 1977 to 1979 and later served as the General Secretary of the General People’s Congress from 1979 to 1981. His most prominent achievement, however, was his instrumental role as one of the three main negotiators in Libya’s historic decision to denounce and abandon its nuclear weapons program.
The year 2011 marked a tumultuous period in Abdul Ati al-Obeidi’s life and career. Amidst the chaos of the First Libyan Civil War, a conflict between Gaddafi loyalists and Anti-Gaddafi rebels, he was appointed Foreign Minister after the defection of Moussa Koussa, a key figure in Gaddafi’s government. Remarkably, al-Obeidi had accompanied Koussa to Djerba, Tunisia, but he chose to return to Libya while Koussa defected to London. Just a week after Koussa’s departure, on April 3, 2011, Obeidi flew to Greece, where he presented a peace proposal to his Greek counterpart, Dimitrios Droutsas, in an effort to find a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing conflict.
However, the political landscape in Libya took a dramatic turn later that year. On August 31, 2011, Abdul Ati al-Obeidi was detained by rebel forces west of Tripoli, a significant event that underscored the complexity of the situation during that period.
In June 2013, he faced legal proceedings, but the court ultimately found him not guilty of a charge of mismanagement, a testament to his commitment to justice and accountability.
The tragic news that Abdul Ati al-Obeidi passed away on September 16, 2023, at the age of 83, was attributed to a heart attack. While the circumstances of his passing are undoubtedly heartbreaking, they serve as a reminder of the fragility of life.