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Libyans agree to continue to work on UN-sponsored political agreement

TRIPOLI, Feb. 22

Libya’s eastern-based House of Representatives (parliament) and the Tripoli-based Higher Council of State agreed on Tuesday to continue consultations to amend the UN-sponsored political agreement in preparation for a constitutional referendum and elections.

The deal was reached after their talks at the headquarters of the UN mission in Tripoli, hosted by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salame.

“The meeting covered some consensual proposals and formulas to enable the two councils to choose a strong executive authority that achieves a comprehensive consensus and is capable of unifying the state institutions and addressing the challenges Libya is going through in this sensitive stage,” the Higher Council of State said in a statement.

“The two sides agreed to present the results of this meeting to the two councils and to continue communicating in the coming days, in order to reach consensus on amending the political agreement, leading to formation of a unified and effective executive authority,” it added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Salame met with Abdurrahman Swehli, the head of the Higher Council of State, and discussed means to end the political stalemate in the country, as well as updates to the political agreement and the mechanism for selecting a new presidential council.

The parliament approved a compromise formula proposed by Salame last year on amendments to the agreement. However, the Higher Council of State rejected it.

The amendments, mainly related to executive authority, are part of an action plan Salame proposed in September to end the political crisis in Libya. The plan also includes holding parliamentary and presidential elections before the end of 2018.

Libya is suffering a political division between the eastern government based in Tobruk and the western government based in Tripoli backed by the UN.


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