UN envoy Bernardino Leon held meetings Thursday with Libyan parliament members in the eastern city of Tobruk and with former parliament members in the capital of Tripoli, Xinhua news agency reported citing the statement. He stressed the urgent need to convene the second round of political dialogue between the Libyan parties to stop the country’s slide toward deeper conflicts and an economic collapse.
“The majority of Libyan people want peace and should not be held hostage by a small minority which sees it can win this conflict militarily,” Leon said, warning that the more the delay in tackling the country’s political and security crisis, the more difficult it will be to reach a solution to end the fighting, restore political and state institutional unity, and revive the economy.
Leon also proposed a freeze in hostilities for a short period of time to create a conductive environment for holding the dialogue, according to the statement. As part of the efforts to de-escalate the situation, Leon met with General Khalifa Haftar in the eastern city of Al-Marj and commanders of armed brigades from Misrata in Tripoli.
Libya has been torn by rival governments and parliaments, as well as battling powerful militias, since the Libya Dawn militants took over Tripoli last August. Two rival parliaments and governments have been fighting for legitimacy, dragging the country deeper into a crisis despite UN efforts to broker talks on ending the violence.
The first round of the UN-brokered national dialogue was held in southwestern city of Ghadames Sep 29, 2014, during which most parties agreed on a truce, but no ceasefire was actually reached. The UN has indefinitely postponed the second dialogue between different political parties in Libya, which was originally scheduled for Monday. (IANS)