Libya’s warring factions to resume talks next week, both sides say

The U.N. is hoping to get both sides agree on a national unity government

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Libya’s warring factions will resume on Tuesday U.N.-sponsored talks inside the oil producer to defuse a power struggle between two governments, officials from both sides said on Saturday.

Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed revolt ousted Muammar Qaddafi nearly four years ago with two rival governments allied to armed groups fighting for legitimacy in a conflict Western powers fear might lead to full-scale civil war.

Libya’s internationally recognized government under Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and its elected House of Representatives are based in the east of the country after a group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli last summer, set up its own administration and reinstated the old parliament.

Last month, the U.N. managed to bring some members of the factions to talks in Geneva but the Tripoli-based parliament known as General National Congress (GNC) wanted the dialogue to take place inside Libya.

“The U.N.-sponsored peace talks will take place in Libya on Tuesday unless anything unforeseeable happens,” Emhemed Shoaib, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, told Reuters.

GNC member Abdul-Qader Hwaili confirmed the date, declining like Shoaib to disclose the venue.

Last week, U.N. Special Envoy Bernadino Leon said during a visit to Tripoli the talks would restart within days. A first U.N.-sponsored round of talks in the southern city of Ghadames were in September and made no progress.

The U.N. is hoping to get both sides agree on a national unity government, a goal that might be take time to reach given the rivalry. It plans to arrange local ceasefires and prisoner exchanges as a first step to defuse the conflict.

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