Libyan deputies promise to end divisions, convene soon-to-be-elected parliament

More than 120 Libyan deputies vowed in Morocco on Saturday to “lift the divisions” that undermine their country, and begin by convening the elected parliament as soon as they return home.

At the end of five days of talks in Tangier, Morocco, 123 of its 180 members promised to put an end to “hate speech” and “divisions” that undermine Libyan institutions.

They promised to hold “parliamentary elections and to complete the transition as soon as possible” and that all members of the House of Representatives would meet in session “as soon as they return” to Libya.

The Riksdag has been divided into two groups: one group based in the capital Tripoli and the other group, led by Parliament Speaker Aqila Saleh, based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Most of the deputies from the previous national congress, the Tripoli parliament, which was dissolved in 2016, now sit in the Supreme Council as chairman of Khaled al-Mishri.

The session will take place in Ghadames, a desert oasis near Libya’s borders with both Algeria and Tunisia. Ghadames are considered far from the centers of power.

“Having 123 deputies at the same table is in itself a success,” said Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

“Libya needs a House of Representatives that plays its role … The next meeting in Libya will have a major impact on the political dialogue,” he said.

The House of Representatives has not met in two years, as two rival administrations have been fighting for control of the country, the UN-recognized Government for National Agreement (GNA) and an Eastern administration loyal to Putschist General Khalifa Haftar with the support of part of the elected parliament .

The latter is deeply divided, with sessions taking place in parallel in the East and the West.

The talks come at a time of increasing moves to break the stalemate in the country, which has Africa’s largest oil reserves.

In mid-November, a UN-sponsored forum for political dialogue in Tunis agreed to hold elections on December 24, 2021, but not on who will lead the transition.

The meeting, the first in several years to bring together parliamentarians from competing cities, also aimed to agree on a date for an official parliamentary session in Libya, although this was not mentioned.

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