UN to host new Libya peace talks between rival parties

Published January 10th, 2015 - 08:00 GMT

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announced Saturday that the two warring sides in Libya agreed to take part in a new round of dialogue next week with a view to ending the country's political and security crisis.

The meeting will be hosted by the UNSMIL at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), according to a statement by the Mission.

The agreement to hold the next round of dialogue was reached after wide and intensive consultations with the parties by Bernardino Leon, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Libya and Head of UNSMIL, over the past several weeks.

UNSMIL emphasizes that the political dialogue process is Libyan-led, and the Mission's facilitating role is to help in the search for common ground, the statement said.

The primary objective of this political dialogue will be to reach agreement on the management of the remainder of the transitional period, including the formation of a unity government that enjoys wide support, and pave the way for a stable environment for the constitutional process in which a new permanent constitution can be adopted.

Discussions will also seek to put in place the necessary security arrangements in order to bring an end to the armed hostilities raging in different parts of the country.

In order to create conducive environment for the dialogue, Special Representative Leon has proposed to the parties to the conflict a freeze in military operations for a few days.

UNSMIL believes that this dialogue is an important opportunity for the Libyans to restore stability and prevent the country's slide towards deeper conflict and economic collapse that should not be missed, the statement added.

The Mission urges the main stakeholders to approach this dialogue with courage and determination and put the national interest above all other considerations in this critical juncture in the country's political transition, abiding by the democratic principles of the 17th of February revolution that united the Libyan people and also united the international community in support of Libya.

Meanwhile, Spokesman of the Libyan General Staff Col. Ahmad Al-Mesmari said fierce clashes erupted between the army and the Islamist gunmen in Derna city, northeast Libya, some 1,300 km to the east of Tripoli, today.

The clashes claimed the lives of five soldiers and eight gunmen belonging to the Shura Council of Derna Revolutionaries, he told KUNA.
The army managed to foil an attempt by the gunmen to break the siege, laid by the army on the city, from Ein Mara neighborhood, to the west of the city, he added.

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