Deputies from Libyan government, rebels agree to ‘end divisions’
Representatives of the warring sides in Libya have concluded their latest round of peace talks in Morocco and agreed to “ending the division” that undermines the sovereignty of the North African country.
The agreement was reached on Monday after five days of negotiations in the Moroccan port city of Tangiers, where deputies from Libya’s internationally-recognized government and rebel forces, under the command of renegade General Khalifa Haftar, declared their commitment to abandon "hate speech" and end political divisions.
In a final statement, the participants indicated "commitment to holding parliamentary elections and ending the transitional phase as soon as possible."
The deputies also agreed to hold a joint parliament session upon return to Libya.
Last week, also in Tangier, more than 120 Libyan deputies pledged to end the divisions in their country, starting by convening the elected parliament as soon as they return home.
Libya has been in chaos since 2011, when a popular uprising and a NATO intervention led to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Since 2014, two rival seats of power have emerged in Libya, namely the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and another group based in the eastern city of Tobruk, supported militarily by Haftar’s rebels.
The strongman, supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan, launched a deadly offensive to capture Tripoli, the seat of the GNA, in April last year. His forces, however, haven’t been able to advance past the city’s outskirts.
International attempts to bring about peace between the two warring sides have also failed.