U.N. seeks ‘message of hope’ from Libya rivals

U.N. envoy Bernardino Leon made the appeal following the ‘horrific attacks’ that occurred including in Sousse

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U.N. envoy Bernardino Leon called for “a message of hope” as rival Libyan groups met in Morocco on Friday with a view to signing a deal on a unity government.

He made the appeal following the “horrific attacks” that occurred on Friday including in Sousse in Libya’s neighbor Tunisia.

Libya’s warring factions arrived Thursday in Morocco for a fresh round of UN-brokered peace talks aimed at ending months of fighting in the stricken North African state.

“I hope we can work in the coming days to find a peace agreement that will allow a solution for Libya and will also send an important message of hope,” Leon told reporters.

“All the Libyan representatives and those from the international community want to send a message of solidarity to the four countries that have suffered,” he added, referring to bloody attacks Friday in Tunisia, Kuwait, Somalia and France.

“These are horrific attacks, and Libya knows such attacks every day. We have to end this situation, we must find an agreement,” the Spanish diplomat said.

Oil-rich Libya has rival governments and parliaments, and jihadist groups and militants have seized on the chaos to make strategic gains.

The Tripoli-based parliament was set up by the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia alliance that seized the capital last year to contest the legitimacy of the Tobruk-based internationally recognized legislature.

Leon told journalists in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat that the two sides were “getting closer to a solution”.

Following the last round of talks in Morocco earlier this month, Leon presented both sides with a draft agreement -- the fourth such proposal -- outlining plans for a unity government in Libya.

The U.N. Security Council has urged both Fajr Libya and the internationally recognized government to sign a deal in order to stem rising violence and the growth of extremist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group on Europe’s doorstep.

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