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Libyan Political Dialogue Forum kicks off in Tunisia

The acting head of the UN support mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams voiced optimism ahead of talks aimed at preparing for elections in Libya, adding that this is a unique opportunity and there has been significant progress on the ground.

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum that has kicked off today in Tunis aims to unify the country under a single executive and pave the way for national elections.

“Elections need to be the ultimate objective here,” Williams added, calling for “a clear road map” towards holding polls as soon as possible.

The 75 people taking part in the dialogue were selected by the UN to represent the country’s political, military and social makeup.

They joined on the condition that they would renounce any claim to take part in the resulting executive, which will face the task of dealing with a bleak financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has killed more than 900 people in Libya and severely stretched the country’s struggling health services.

“The status quo cannot continue,” Williams said, urging participants “to come with spirit of compromise to be willing to make concessions for the sake of Libya”.

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