By Libya Herald staff.
Malta, 10 January 2015:
UNSMIL confirmed today that the next . . .[restrict]round of dialogue between the conflicting sides in Libya will be held next week at the UN offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
A specific day has not been named yet, but informed sources have informed Libya Herald that the meeting will probably take place on Wednesday. A day would be announced once all the parties had safely arrived in Geneva, the source added.
‘’Libyan parties have agreed to hold a new round of political dialogue with a view to ending the country’s political and security crisis’’, the UNSMIL statement said.
‘’The agreement to hold the next round of dialogue was reached after wide and intensive consultations with the parties by Bernardino Leon, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of UNSMIL, over the past several weeks. UNSMIL emphasizes that the political dialogue process is Libyan-led, and the Mission’s facilitating role is to help in the search for common ground’’, the statement stressed.
‘’The primary objective of this political dialogue will be to reach agreement on the management of the remainder of the transitional period, including the formation of a unity government that enjoys wide support, and pave the way for a stable environment for the constitutional process in which a new permanent constitution can be adopted’’, the UNSMIL statement continued.
‘’Discussions will also seek to put in place the necessary security arrangements in order to bring an end to the armed hostilities raging in different parts of the country’’.
Meanwhile, Leon has proposed to the parties to the conflict a freeze in military operations for a few days in order to create a conducive environment for the dialogue. It is not clear if both parties have agreed to this proposal and weather both sides have adequate control of their partners to deliver a coordinated ceasefire.
UNSMIL stated that it believes that ‘’this dialogue is an important opportunity for the Libyans to restore stability and prevent the country’s slide towards deeper conflict and economic collapse that should not be missed’’.
It urges the main stakeholders to approach this dialogue with ‘’courage and determination and put the national interest above all other considerations in this critical juncture in the country’s political transition, abiding by the democratic principles of the 17th of February revolution that united the Libyan people and also united the international community in support of Libya’’.
The first round of UNSMIL brokered talks between the fighting Libyan parties was held in Ghadames on 29 September 2014
There have been a number of failed attempts since November to hold round two of the talks, as various political and military events had caused the talks to be delayed, including the location of the talks.
Meanwhile sporadic fighting has continued between the two sides as the internationally recognized side has escalated its use of jet fighters to strike at opposition targets. [/restrict]