UN says breakthrough achieved in Libya transition talks

CAIRO (AP) — The top United Nations (UN) official for Libya said Saturday an advisory committee for representatives of Libya’s different regions has proposed a way forward for choosing a transitional government that would lead the war-torn country to elections late this year.

The talks in Geneva, structured around the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, have been taking place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful settlement to Libya’s civil war. Previous diplomatic initiatives have all collapsed.

UN acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams told a news conference in Geneva that the advisory committee’s members “have met their responsibility with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts, and a great deal of patriotism”.

The committee is part of a 75-member forum that represents all the three main regions of Libya. The 18-member committee has proposed that each region’s electoral college name a representative to a three-member presidential council, Williams said. A prime minister would be chosen by the 75-member forum. A successful nominee should receive 70 per cent of votes.

Williams said that the forum would resort to lists formed from Libya’s three regions, with each list consisting of four names, nominated for the presidential council and a prime minister position.

She said a list should obtain 17 endorsements: eight from the western region, six from the eastern region and three from southern Libya.

Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission Stephanie Williams speaks during a news conference in Tunis, Tunisia. PHOTO: AP