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Ben Sutherland;

Libya’s Tripoli assembly rejects UN peace plan, urges talks

The parliament based in the Libyan capital Tripoli has rejected a UN proposal to settle the nation’s political crisis but has expressed the desire for more talks towards an accord with its rival assembly in eastern Libya.

“This draft accord is not the satisfactory state (necessary) for us to initial it,” AFP quoted the spokesman for Tripoli’s General National Congress (GNC), Omar Hamidan, as saying in a Tuesday statement.

The GNC further urged UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon to “reopen the debate,” adding that its delegates were “ready to head (to the table of) dialogue immediately, once a date is decided, to discuss modifications the GNC wants to introduce in the text.”

Libya currently has two parliaments and governments vying for power, one in Tripoli and the other in the eastern port city of Tobruk, which is internationally recognized.

The development came after delegations from both sides headed back home from the Moroccan city of Skhirat on June 29, following their first direct negotiations in months during which they failed to reach consensus on UN-drafted proposals to establish a unity government.

This is while Leon had called on the rival sides to endorse his plan for a merged government in a bid to deal with the growing presence and influence of Takfiri terror elements in the North African country, which has raised concerns among its neighboring nations.

A surge of ISIL-linked terrorist incidents across the region, including the carnage of about 40 Western tourists at a Tunisian beach resort last month, has triggered mounting international pressure for the UN-sponsored Libya accord.

Meanwhile, the GNC-affiliated Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia coalition, which seized the capital last year, also slammed the recent UN plan, describing it as “treason,” insisting that it “sanctions the creation of a fascist dictatorship under the auspices of the UN.”

On July 1, dozens of protesters gathered in front of the GNC headquarters in Tripoli to express their opposition to the new UN draft, burning pictures of the UN envoy to Libya.

It came a day after the UN Security Council urged the rival Libyan factions to sign the proposal, which is the fourth of its kind.

The council further said the establishment of a unity government was in the nation’s interest “in order to end Libya’s political, security and institutional crises and to confront the rising threat of terrorism.”

Libya plunged into chaos following a popular revolution in 2011 that led to the ouster and eventual killing of its long-time dictator Moammer Qadhafi.

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