World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.N. mission in Libya has invited parties to the conflict in the war-torn country to meet on Monday for an initial round of political dialogue to look into means of ending the political turmoil gripping the country since the downfall of longstanding ruler Muammar Gaddafi three years ago.
"This dialogue would be based on the legitimacy of the elected institutions, respect for the Constitutional Declaration, inclusiveness, respect for Human Rights and international law, and a clear rejection of terrorism," a statement by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said late Sunday.
According to the release, the invitation followed talks between Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General in Libya Bernardino Leon with a number of Libyan stakeholders, including parliamentarians, political leaders and various civil society personalities over the past two weeks.
"These discussions confirmed that there is a general consensus that the only solution to the current crisis in Libya is through the convening of a political dialogue," the statement said.
Such dialogue should lead to "an agreement on the institutional framework for and a sound consensus on, the modalities for the continuation of the democratic transition process."
The mission set two points for the agenda of the dialogue.
The first was the conclusion of a framework agreement on the rules of procedure of the elected House of Representatives (HoR) as well as an agreement on the critical issues relating to the governance of the country.
"Such key issues would require a qualified majority of 2/3 of the HoR membership to allow for decisions. All decisions of the HoR will be subject to the agreed upon rules of procedure," the release said.
The second point aims to reach an agreement on the date, venue and ceremonial for a handover ceremony from the outgoing General National Congress to the recently-elected House of Representatives.
"Agreement on these points will allow for future discussions on the critical issues of governance and the political transition and full normalization of institutions and the country," the release said.
Libya's new parliament recently assumed legislative authority from the General National Congress, the mandate of which expired earlier this year.
However, the outgoing General National Congress reconvened last week, citing a decision by Libyan lawmakers to meet in Tobruk and saying the move contradicts with the country's charter stating that the parliament should be based in Benghazi.
Yet, most of the current parliament's members defended the move, citing the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, the country's second largest city.
The divisions have yielded two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions.
The newly-elected parliament has tasked outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni with drawing up a new cabinet, while the Congress supports another government cabinet headed by Omar al-Hassi.
In its statement, the mission said that the U.N. will start talks with the dialogue participants in parallel to address a number of "confidence-building" measures and security arrangements.
"As a prerequisite, all Libyans must comply with… its call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire," the statement said, unveiling plans to create a joint committee by the Libyans and UNSMIL to supervise the ceasefire.
Other measures, the release said, include agreeing on a timeline for the withdrawal of armed groups from the main cities, airports and other public installations all over the country.
Since Gaddafi's ouster and death in 2011, Libyan authorities have struggled to restore law and order, with many militias that had helped overthrow Gaddafi refusing to surrender their weapons.
In recent weeks, Libya has been gripped by deep polarization between the two active parliaments and governments vying for power.
Libya Shield, which is widely seen as a pro-Islamist militia, and rival Al-Qaaqaa and Al-Sawaaq militias have also been locking horns in and around Tripoli, almost totally destroying the airport and wreaking havoc in the flashpoint city. The fighting left dozens dead and hundreds injured.
Benghazi, Libya's largest city, is also witnessing deadly battles between troops loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar and rebel militias.Last Mod: 22 Eylül 2014, 09:52