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UN: Breakthrough in Libya Talks        01/17 09:29

   

   CAIRO (AP) -- The top U.N. official for Libya said Saturday an advisory 
committee for representatives of Libya's different regions has proposed a way 
forward for choosing a transitional government that would lead the war-torn 
country to elections late this year.

   The talks in Geneva, structured around the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, 
have been taking place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful 
settlement to Libya's civil war. Previous diplomatic initiatives have all 
collapsed.

   U.N. acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams told a news conference in 
Geneva that the advisory committee's members "have met their responsibility 
with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts, and a great deal of 
patriotism."

   The committee is part of a 75-member forum that represents all the three 
main regions of Libya. The 18-member committee has proposed that each region's 
electoral college name a representative to a three-member presidential council, 
Williams said. A prime minister would be chosen by the 75-member forum. A 
successful nominee should receive 70% of votes.

   Williams said that the forum would resort to lists formed from Libya's three 
regions, with each list consisting of four names, nominated for the 
presidential council and a prime minister position.

   She said a list should obtain 17 endorsements: eight from the western 
region, six from the eastern region and three from southern Libya. The winning 
list should receive 60% of the votes of the 75-member forum in the first round. 
A run-up is expected if no list received the required votes, she said.

   Williams said the forum would vote on the proposed mechanism on Monday and 
the results are expected the following day.

   The transitional government would be "a temporary unified executive staffed 
by Libyan patriots who want to share responsibility rather than to divide the 
cake," the U.N. acting envoy said.

   The U.S. welcomed the breakthrough and urged all parties of Libya "to work 
with urgency and in good faith" to establish an interim government, according 
to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Libya.

   "It is time to move past the conflict and corruption facilitated by the 
status quo," it said.

   The forum is part of the U.N. efforts to end the chaos that engulfed the 
oil-rich North African nation after the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator 
Moammar Gadhafi. It has reached an agreement last year to hold presidential and 
parliamentary elections on Dec. 24, 2021.

   The oil-rich country is now split east to west between two rival 
administrations, each backed by an array of militias and foreign powers.

   The warring sides agreed to a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in October in Geneva, 
a deal that included the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya 
within three months.

   No progress was announced on the issue of foreign forces and mercenaries 
since they inked the cease-fire deal almost two months ago.

 
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