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Libyan political dialogue sets December 24, 2021 date for elections

Libyans at UN-led talks have agreed to hold national parliamentary and presidential elections in December next year, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has said.

Participants at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunisia “agreed that national elections should take place on December 24, 2021,” acting UN envoy Stephanie Williams told journalists in a virtual press conference on Friday.

“Reaching elections requires a new executive to unify the country. This requires the establishment of a reformed presidency council and an effective and unified government of national unity,” Williams said.

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunis follows a ceasefire agreed on last month between the two major sides in the country’s war – the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militias.

The warring factions returned to the negotiating table in September in UN-supported talks held in Morocco, Egypt and Switzerland. The UNSMIL is also leading the military talks near the ceasefire line in Sirte.

Williams has said the latest round of talks as part of the 5+5 military commission was “the best opportunity to end the division” since Haftar’s failed offensive on Tripoli in April 2019.

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