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Tripoli rivals to join peace talks 'if held in Libya'

Tripoli: The rivals of Libya's elected Parliament agreed Thursday to join UN-mediated peace talks with the internationally recognised government if they are held on home soil.



Tripoli: The rivals of Libya's elected Parliament agreed Thursday to join UN-mediated peace talks with the internationally recognised government if they are held on home soil.

 The announcement by Salah al-Makhzoum, deputy speaker of the General National Congress (GNC), came as the United Nations said there was agreement in principle to hold future sessions in Libya, "provided that logistical and security conditions are available."

 It came after an attack Tuesday on a luxury hotel in the Libyan capital by Islamist gunmen that killed nine people, including five foreigners.

 The UN mission to Libya said participants at talks in Geneva that opened Monday had "expressed concern about the prevailing security conditions in different areas, condemning in particular the recent attack in Tripoli."

 The negotiations have brought together warring factions, civil society groups and officials in a bid to form a unity government to end Libya's conflict.

 Notably absent has been the Tripoli-based GNC, a transitional body which refuses to recognise parliament, which was elected in June but has fled to the far eastern city of Tobruk for security reasons.

 The Islamist-backed Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia alliance, which took over Tripoli last summer, is also not officially participating in the talks.

 But it declared a ceasefire with the Libyan army earlier this month and some of its high-level officials from outside the capital travelled to Geneva for the negotiations.

 The GNC's Makhzoum said: "We will actively and seriously participate in the next round of negotiations if they are held in Libya."

 And he urged "all political factions to participate in the next round because those who are in Geneva do not really represent" parties to the conflict.

 The north African nation has been wrecked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 uprising.

 Powerful militias, backing rival governments and parliaments, have been battling for control of key cities and the country's oil riches.

 During a first round of UN-mediated discussions in Geneva earlier this month, the United Nations said the warring sides agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government.

From Zee News

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