Libya talks in Algiers 'great success:' UN envoy

AFP , Tuesday 14 Apr 2015

Bernardino Leon
Bernardino Leon (Photo: Reuters)

Talks between Libya's rival parliaments on forging a unity government for the violence-wracked country have been a "great success," the UN envoy said Tuesday, but there were no signs of a major breakthrough.

"The result of the second round of dialogue is a great success," Bernardino Leon said in Algiers. "The Libyan parties have succeeded in finding a common position on most of the points of a draft accord presented by the United Nations."

Representatives of the two sides are to resume the UN-brokered talks in Morocco Thursday, a diplomat in Rabat told AFP.

That is a day later than planned by the United Nations and comes despite a statement adopted unanimously by the Security Council late Monday saying it awaited the resumption of talks "with impatience".

Libya has been gripped by chaos and violence since its 2011 revolution that toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

It has had rival administrations and parliaments since an Islamist-backed militia alliance seized the capital in August, prompting the internationally recognised government to take refuge in the east.

The resulting power struggle has been exploited by the Islamic State group to establish a growing presence to the alarm of the international community.

The Tripoli parliament -- the General National Congress -- confirmed that it would attend the talks in Skhirat outside Rabat.

"Our delegation will arrive on Wednesday to start a new round of negotiations," GNC member Mohammed Saleh al-Makhzum told AFP.

Meanwhile, former GNC vice president Abdelhafid Ghoka said in Algiers that the sides had agree in principle on forming a unity government but that differences remained over the future parliament.

"The government will consist of people who have no other nationality than the Libyan one," he said, adding that the fate of parliament "will be at the heart of the talks."

Ghoka said the GNC had ceased to exist with the election last June of a new parliament. That was disputed by Abdelhakim Belhadj, head of the nationalist El Watan party and former military commander of Tripoli.

"To say the (General) National Congress is finished is unacceptable," he said. "That is the view of one person, and the question remains open."

The Security Council, which has threatened sanctions over spiralling violence, has called on the rival sides to "agree on arrangements on the formation of a national unity government to end Libya's political, security and institutional crisis."

It also warned it was "prepared to sanction those who threaten Libya's peace, stability or security or that obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition."

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