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Rival Libyan leaders hold national unity talks in Malta

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

THE heads of Libya’s two rival parliaments have met for the first time. Agila Salah, from the internationally recognised congress in the eastern city of Tobruk, and Nouri Abusahmen, from the Tripoli-based General National Congress, held talks in Malta. But the expected signing of a UN plan for a national unity government has been put back till today.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Amid the turmoil the country has become a major departure point for some of the thousands of migrants travelling to Europe.
BBC reported that there had been international concern that the Islamic State group was taking advantage of the instability to expand inside Libya.

The meeting in Malta between the two men came after weekend talks in Rome in which world powers urged Libya’s warring factions to stop fighting and back a unity government.

Whether they will sign is far from certain. Mr Salah pleaded for more time, warning that “acting hastily would lead to more problems in the future.
For his part Mr Abusahmen said “we will not accept foreign intervention against the will of the Libyan people” referring to the UN-backed deal.

There are divisions within both parliaments on the UN accord. One GNC member said the two leaders were attempting to forge a separate deal without UN involvement.



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