U.N. envoy shuttles between Libya rivals in new Morocco talks

Head of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Leon (R), speaks as Algeria's Minister of African and Maghreb Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, listens as they head talks with Libyan political leaders and rivals in Algiers, March 10, 2015. (Reuters)

U.N. envoy Bernardino Leon shuttled between delegates of Libya's rival parliaments in Morocco Thursday as he pushed for a unity government to end the growing unrest in their country.

Libya has been divided since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with rival governments and parliaments and armed groups now battling for control of its cities and oil wealth.

The talks started a day after an air strike blamed on the internationally recognized government hit an air base controlled by the rival administration.

Leon has repeatedly urged both sides to set aside differences.

"The patience of Libyans is finished and the patience of the international community is finished," he warned Wednesday.

He called on the negotiating teams to thrash out the full details of a unity government, including the names of ministers, to replace the rival administrations.

On Thursday morning, he met delegates from the elected parliament and was later due to meet their rivals, an AFP journalist said.

"We are trying to adopt a positive approach," said Issa Abdelkayoum, spokesman for the elected parliament.

"There are people from the other side who don't have much to propose and who are playing for time," he added, without further details.

The rival parliament was due to submit later Thursday written "observations" to Leon concerning a six-point U.N. proposal to end the conflict, said one of its members, Mohamed Maazab.

On March 24, the U.N. mission in Libya UNSMIL unveiled the plan which namely calls for setting up a transitional unity government until a new constitution is adopted and elections held.

Leon warned Wednesday as delegates gathered in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat that this round of talks would be the last.

"I really hope that the negotiators that are coming today are understanding that we cannot wait any more and this will really be the final round," Leon said.
 

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Last Update: Friday, 17 April 2015 KSA 23:09 - GMT 20:09
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