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Libyan political dialogue to resume next month

By AFP - Oct 11,2020 - Last updated at Oct 11,2020

TRIPOLI — The UN mission in Libya has announced a face-to-face dialogue between the country's rivals to be held early next month in neighbouring Tunisia.

Tunisia will host "the first face-to-face meeting" of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) "in early November, following preparatory virtual consultations", the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement Saturday.

The forum's aim is "to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible timeframe".

Libya has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow and killing of Muammar Muammar Qadhafi in 2011, with rival power centres as well as a myriad militias vying for control.

The two main factions are the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and a parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Efforts to move the political process in Libya forward have been repeatedly interrupted since a deal signed in Morocco in December 2015.

Eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, backed by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive on Tripoli in April 2019, but was beaten back in June by the GNA with military support from Turkey.

Hope for a solution to the crisis has risen, however, after the two main warring factions separately announced in August they would cease hostilities.

The move was followed by a series of UN-backed talks in Morocco, Egypt and Switzerland.

UNSMIL said it “has made it a requirement for participants to the LPDF to recuse themselves from political and sovereign positions in any new executive arrangement... and to refrain from the use of hate speech and incitement to violence”.

Participants “will be drawn from key Libyan constituencies... and with a firm commitment to the meaningful participation of Libyan women and youth”, the statement added.

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