UN to hold conference on Libya to pave way to elections

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(Tripoli) – The United Nations said it will organise an all-party conference next month to draw up a “roadmap” to lead Libya toward elections and out of the chaos in which it has plunged since a 2011 revolution.

The national conference aims to fix dates for legislative and presidential elections in the North African state, which has been torn apart by military, political and tribal feuds since the NATO-backed uprising that ousted longtime ruler Moamer Kadhafi.

“We will invite all Libya´s political categories, without exception,” UN envoy Ghassan Salame told a news conference in Tripoli.

He said between 120 and 150 delegates were expected to participate in the forum in the central city of Ghadames on April 14-16, which has been agreed following consultations and meetings in 57 towns across the country.

The conference will also try to reach decisions on a new constitution and set target dates for legislative texts, which have been delayed by Libya´s two rival administrations.

The UN´s Libya mission UNSMIL said the country´s unity government leader Fayez al-Sarraj and military strongman Khalifa Haftar agreed at a meeting in Abu Dhabi last month to work toward organizing elections.

Addressing the UN Security Council via video-conference from Tripoli, Salame insisted that the sides were now committed to resolving their power dispute through elections.