Libya's Islamist-backed Parliament sets conditions for talks

Libya's Islamist-backed parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), announced Sunday to join the UN-sponsored peace talks on the condition that they were held within Libya, according to officials.

IANS| Updated: Jan 18, 2015, 23:28 PM IST

Tripoli: Libya's Islamist-backed parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), announced Sunday to join the UN-sponsored peace talks on the condition that they were held within Libya, according to officials.

GNC spokesman Omar Hemidan said the Congress was ready to resolve the current crisis with the internationally recognised parliament, the House of Representatives, through talks, held within Libyan territories, Xinhua reported.

Hemidan said the GNC had proposed to hold the talks in the southern Libyan city of Ghat, instead of the Swiss city of Geneva.

Following the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been mired in turmoil, with two rival governments and two parliaments, which are backed by secular and Islamist forces respectively.

The armed forces affiliated to the two sides have been fighting since May last year, leaving at least 1,000 people dead and more than 100,000 displaced.

The UN-sponsored peace talks are aimed at ending the current political crisis and forming a united government.

In September 2014, the UN held the first round of talks, bringing together different factions to the border town of Ghadames, but the GNC did not participate.