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Second round of Libya talks end on 'positive' note: UN

AFP , Tuesday 27 Jan 2015
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A second round of peace talks between Libya's warring factions ended in Geneva on Tuesday in a "positive atmosphere," the UN said, as IS militants staged a deadly attack on a Tripoli hotel.

Participants at the two-day UN-brokered talks included a range of groups and representatives of civil society, who stressed the need to fast-track dialogue on forming a unity government.

"Discussions were conducted in a positive atmosphere reflecting the sense of national responsibility and a sincere determination to find solutions to end the political and military conflict," the UN mission in Libya UNSMIL said.

The participants underscored the need for a sustained truce, and discussed the criteria for selecting members of the unity government, as well as its mandate and programme.

They also unanimously rejected terrorism and "strongly condemned" Tuesday's car bombing at the Corinthia Hotel popular with foreigners, which left at least one person dead.

During a first round of UN-mediated discussions in Geneva earlier this month, the warring sides agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government.

Bernadino Leon, the UN envoy for Libya and mediator in the talks, said there was a "very constructive spirit," and "very good ideas on the table."

The north African nation has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Moamar Kadhafi in a 2011 uprising, with rival governments and powerful militias battling for control of key cities and the country's oil riches.

The Islamist-backed Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia alliance, which took over Tripoli last summer, was not officially participating in the talks.

However, it did declare a ceasefire with Libya's army following the January 15 agreement, and some of the group's high-level officials from cities beyond the capital, including Misrata, were in Geneva for the negotiations.

The UN said another meeting would be taking place in Geneva on Wednesday, bringing together municipal and local council representatives from cities and towns across Libya to discuss "confidence building measures and ways to implement them."

UNSMIL said it also planned to convene a number of other meetings later.

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