The head of Libya’s internationally recognised government and a military strongman who backs a rival administration in the country’s east have met and agreed to hold elections, the United Nations said on Thursday.
Unity government leader Fayez al-Sarraj met Khalifa Haftar on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, where they agreed “on the need to end the transitional phase through general elections and on ways to preserve the stability of #Libya and unify its institutions,” the UN’s Libya mission UNSMIL tweeted.
Libya has been torn between rival administrations and a myriad of militias since the NATO-backed overthrow and killing of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
Chief among them are an internationally recognised Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli and a parallel administration in the east loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar.
The political chaos and insecurity benefits jihadist groups, which have carried out numerous attacks in recent years, including more than 20 in 2018 against institutions linked to the GNA and Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.