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UN Urges Libyan House of Representatives to Hold Elections

UN Urges Libyan House of Representatives to Hold Elections

Friday, 12 January, 2018 - 11:45
UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. (Reuters)

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman reassured Libyan House of Representatives President Aguila Saleh Issa--who met on Thursday with Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salamé at the Tobruk headquarter—on international consensus backing the political agreement concluded in 2015 in Skhirat, Morocco, as the only framework for the political process in Libya.

According to a brief statement to the UN mission, Feltman urged Libyans to place their national interest above all, so that 2018 emerges as the year of change.

Cooperation between the Libyan parliament and the UN is greatly appreciated, and the importance of holding elections that reflect the will of citizens is undebatable, Feltman told reporters.

He also stressed the key role of Tobruk-based government’s role in the electoral legislation.

Feltman had arrived in Libya on 10 January to discuss with Libyan leaders the implementation of the United Nations Action Plan for the country and ways to bolster international support for Libya.

The Plan – which provides, among other things, for amending the Libyan Political Agreement, organizing a National Conference, preparing for elections and providing humanitarian assistance -- was unveiled at a high-level event held during the General Assembly’s latest session last September. The meeting was convened to relaunch the Libyan political process under the facilitation and leadership of the United Nations.

The Action Plan is, “in essence, a synthesis of the hopes and goals of the Libyan people,” says Special Representative Ghassan Salamé. “Libyans are tired of moving from one transitional period to another. I am not here to remove what is temporary and create another.”

Since the launch of the plan, which revived the previously stalled political process, Salamé and UNSMIL have been working on all its components simultaneously.

“Libyans have taken positive and brave steps toward reconciliation and dialogue previously seen as unacceptable to the parties themselves,” Salamé said.

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