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Libya lawmakers participate in talks in Tangiers

Libyan delegates on Monday resumed separate UN-led virtual talks

AFP , Tuesday 24 Nov 2020
Libya
Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces take part in a graduation ceremony in Tajoura suburb of Tripoli, Libya November 21, 2020. REUTERS
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Dozens of lawmakers from across war-torn Libya's political spectrum are taking part in consultations in the Moroccan city of Tangiers as part of efforts to resolve the country's political crisis.

The meetings come as Libyan delegates on Monday resumed separate UN-led virtual talks on a selection mechanism for an executive to help lead the country out of conflict and prepare for elections.

Libya has been riven by violence since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with two rival administrations and an array of militias now dominating the country.

A government resulting from previous UN talks in 2015 is based in the capital. The east is dominated by the forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar, who backs a parliament elected in 2014 and based in the city of Tobruk.

The House of Representatives, which has refused to ratify the Tripoli administration, is deeply divided internally.

"We are working here to put in place a road map before an official session in Libya to... unify the House of Representatives and bring the country out of crisis," Mohammed Raied, a member of the legislature who is based in the western city of Misrata, told AFP on Monday.

Asmahan Belaoun, another HoR member, said lawmakers were holding "consultative meetings to bring together points of view".

The meetings, which were organised by HoR members themselves and will run until Wednesday, were welcomed by the United Nations's Libya mission UNSMIL.

"That such a diverse range of Parliamentarians from Libya's three regions is meeting under one roof is a positive and welcome step," UNSMIL said on Twitter.

Earlier this month, 75 delegates selected by the UN held a week of talks in Tunisia, where they agreed to hold national elections on December 24 next year.

They did not specify if the polls would be presidential, parliamentary or both.

The talks ended without agreement on appointing an interim administration to prepare for the elections and govern the country, hard-hit by economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic as well as a decade of conflict.

Monday's virtual meeting focused on "selection criteria" for the future administration, and the UN said the delegates would continue talks on Wednesday.

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