UN looks to restart peace talks in Libya

26 February 2015

Urgent talks take place after the Tobruk-based government suspends participation

  • UN says it is committed to creating a suitable environment for talks
  • Talks were meant to take place on 26 February in Morocco
  • UN says terrorism is a threat to the political process

The UN is attempting to restart peace talks in Libya following the bombings in the City of Al-Quabbah, which were claimed by the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq in Syria (Isis), and the withdrawal of the internationally recognised government from the UN-mediated political dialogue.

In a statement published on 25 February the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it is in urgent consultations with stakeholders to ensure the next round of talks would start soon.

“UNSMIL appeals to all parties not to allow this window of opportunity to slip away. The mission calls upon them to renew their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Libyan crisis,” the statement said. “The United Nations believes that ending the severe political division in Libya is of critical importance.

“Terrorism has become a real threat to the political process, the Libyan State, and the security and stability of the country and the region.”

The UN said it is fully committed to the unity, independence, and sovereignty of Libya and to creating a suitable environment for talks to achieve success.

On 23 February, Libya’s internationally recognised parliament announced it was suspending its participation in the UN-meditated peace talks.

“The chamber of representatives today voted in favour of suspending its participation in the dialogue,” MP Issa al-Aribi said in an online statement.

Two rival governments are the main stakeholders in the country’s current unrest.

The internationally recognised government is based in the eastern town of Tobruk, while an Islamist-led government currently controls Tripoli and is backed by the powerful militia coalition Libya Dawn.

The Tobruk-based parliament was elected in a general election held in June 2014

The UN had invited representatives from both sides of the conflict to take part in peace talks scheduled to take place in Morocco on 26 February.

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