Libya talks reach breakthrough on election roadmap: UN envoy

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Political talks in Tunis on Libya's future have reached a breakthrough, the United Nations acting Libya envoy said on Wednesday, paving the way towards elections within 18 months.

The participants reached a preliminary agreement on a roadmap to parliamentary and presidential elections that includes steps to unite Libya's institutions, Stephanie Williams said at a news conference in Tunis.

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She said Tuesday's "heinous killing" of dissident lawyer Hanan al-Barassi in the eastern city of Benghazi showed there was a crisis of accountability across Libya.

After years of chaos and warfare in Libya, with key institutions held by rival factions riven by political, regional and ideological divisions, and foreign powers pouring in arms, many Libyans remain skeptical of peacemaking efforts.

However, the Tunis talks, which began on Monday, follow a ceasefire agreed last month between the main warring sides - the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

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