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17:43, 21 January 2018 Sunday
16:33, 26 February 2015 Thursday

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Libya's GNC invites UN envoy to Tripoli
Libya's GNC invites UN envoy to Tripoli

The UN has been sponsoring talks aimed at ending months of infighting between the fractious North African country's warring factions

World Bulletin / News Desk

Libya's General National Congress (GNC) on Thursday invited UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon to visit its Tripoli headquarters.

"The GNC would like to know why a national dialogue session – which had been scheduled to meet today in Morocco – has been postponed," GNC representatives said in a statement.

"The assembly will speak with Mr. Leon about the future of political talks and try to determine whether the parties boycotting them are serious about reaching a peaceful settlement," they added.

Two days ago, the Libyan embassy in Morocco informed the UN's office in Rabat that UN-sponsored dialogue between Libya's warring camps had been put on hold, a UN source had told The Anadolu Agency.

The move came one day after Libya's internationally-recognized House of Representatives voted to boycott the dialogue, a session of which had been slated for Thursday in Morocco.

The Tobruk parliament also decided to summon its representatives to the talks for "consultations," according to MP Eissa al-Orebi.

The information minister in Libya's Tobruk-based government on Thursday described a UN-backed dialogue initiative between the country's warring camps as "a failure."

Omar al-Quweiri described the initiative as "stillborn."

"The solution to the Libyan crisis is to arm the national army led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar," al-Quweiri told The Anadolu Agency.

Al-Quweiri added that the solution to the current crisis in Libya lay in arming forces led by Libyan army commander Khalifa Haftar and backed by the Tobruk parliament.

According to al-Quweiri, last week's Egyptian airstrikes on sites affiliated with the militant Daesh organization had been carried out within the context of an Arab joint defense agreement.

"Daesh" is the Arabic acronym for the ISIL, which last year overran vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

"That's why the [Egyptian] airstrikes are welcome," said al-Quweiri.

The UN has been sponsoring talks aimed at ending months of infighting between warring factions in the fractious North African country.

The UN has said that the House of Representatives and the GNC – the latter of which continues to meet in Tripoli even though its mandate ended last year – would represent the main parties to the dialogue.

The two legislative assemblies support two rival governments respectively headquartered in Tobruk and Tripoli.

Both sides are capable of fielding substantial military forces.

Since the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Qaddafi in late 2011, rival militias have frequently clashed in Libya's main cities, including Benghazi and capital Tripoli.



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