The United States calls on the Libyans to agree on a constitutional basis

Washington called on the rival sides in Libya to agree on a constitutional basis for holding the country’s long-awaited general election.

US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland held talks with Khalid al-Mishri, the head of the Supreme Government, in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

“We agreed on the need to support the UN-led process which is intended to lead to parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible as required by Libyan voters,” Norland said in a statement from the US Embassy.

The US diplomat called on all participants in the forthcoming meeting in Cairo “to work on behalf of the Libyan people and reach the necessary consensus to establish the constitutional basis for elections.”

Representatives of the Tobruk-based parliament and Tripoli-based Supreme Council of Ministers, acting as a senate, will attend the second round of Egypt’s hosts’ talks on May 15 to agree on constitutional arrangements to hold the polls.

The first round of discussions was held in Cairo last month under the auspices of the UN.

Tensions have risen in Libya since parliament in March gave confidence to a new government led by Fathi Bashagha, a former interior minister, while Abdul Hamid Dbeibah insists on remaining in office as the country’s prime minister.

Libyans are waiting for the by-elections to take place in the hope that the vote will help put an end to years of armed conflict that have plagued the oil-rich country.

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