Libya’s Warring Factions Hold UN Peace Talks

Libya’s Warring Factions Hold UN Peace TalksLibya’s Warring Factions Hold UN Peace Talks

United Nations negotiators resumed talks on Wednesday with delegates from Libya’s warring factions, holding separate meetings with rival parties in the latest attempt to end the OPEC oil producer’s political crisis and broker a ceasefire.

Libya is caught up in a struggle between an internationally recognized government and a rival administration set up in Tripoli after an armed faction seized the capital last summer, World Bulletin reported.

Both are backed by brigades of fighters who helped oust veteran leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 but have since turned against one another in a complex conflict involving tribes, former Qaddafi troops, Islamist militants and federalist forces.

UN special envoy Bernardino Leon met representatives of the rival governments in the southern town of Ghadames near the Algerian border. Both governments operate their own parliaments and armed forces in a conflict Western powers fear will slide into broader civil war.

The UN said Wednesday’s talks had focused on an agenda and timetable for parties to work to an agreement, but it said more detailed negotiations would take place in coming days.

Previous talks held in Geneva last month made little progress because key representatives from the Tripoli-based government stayed away, demanding the dialogue be held in Libya.

The United Nations is first seeking a deal on a unified government, a ceasefire and getting armed groups out of Libya’s main cities and key installations.

But UN officials acknowledge these aims fall well short of ending the crisis.

Libya’s two largest oil ports, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, with a combined capacity of around 600,000 barrels per day, have been shut by fighting since December, cutting off vital oil revenues and denting the economy.