Libya national conference postponed due to fighting: UN

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A Libyan national conference aimed at drawing up a roadmap towards elections has been postponed because of fighting raging near the capital, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

“We cannot ask people to take part in the conference during gunfire and air strikes,” UN envoy Ghassan Salame said, expressing hope the meeting which had been scheduled for next week would take place “as soon as possible.”

The United Nations was planning to hold a conference in the southwestern town of Ghadames from April 14 to 16 to discuss elections as a way out of the country’s eight-year-long conflict.

While the envoy’s statement did not explicitly say the conference was postponed, it looks unlikely to begin, given the battle for the capital.

“I will work with whatever is within my power to hold Libya’s national conference and as soon as possible,” Ghassan Salame said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council will hold urgent closed-door consultations on Wednesday on the crisis in Libya, where fighting has scuttled UN-led efforts to prepare for elections.

Salame will brief the council on his decision to postpone a national conference aimed at drawing up an election roadmap, diplomats said.

(With AFP, Reuters)

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