Libya rivals urged to sign peace deal

World leaders urge Libya's warring parties to sign proposed peace deal to create national unity government

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

United Nations envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon speaks to the media in Skhirat, Morocco, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

The United Nations and world leaders urged Libya’s warring parties on Friday to sign the UN peace proposal, related to establish a national unity government.

“This outcome represents an important achievement in the joint effort to reach a representative and fair settlement to support Libya’s successful transition towards a sovereign, peaceful and stable democracy," a statement said, signed by United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The new unity government would be governed under the leadership of  Fayez el Sarraj, a deputy in the Tripoli parliament, and involve three deputy prime ministers coming from the west, east and south of Libya.

"There is no more time to waste… delays in forming a unity government will only prolong the suffering of the Libyan people and benefit terrorists seeking to take advantage of the chaos," six countries said in a joint statement.

The UN Security Council called all stakeholders in the country to support the proposal and repeated it was "prepared to sanction those who threaten Libya's peace, stability and security or that undermine the successful completion of its political transition."

UN envoy Bernardino Leon said a news conference in Morocco where talks are being held that, "after a year of work on this process, after working with more than 150 Libyan personalities from all the regions, finally the moment has come in which we can propose a national unity government."

He indicated that, "this was not an easy task. We have been listening to many people, inside and outside the dialogue. And we believe that this list can work... I'm sure, to take their country out of this crisis."

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the proposed peace deal is a "significant milestone in the Libyan political process" and added that the US "stands ready" to back the unity government.

After former strongman Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and subsequently killed in October 2011, Libya fell into chaos. The country is currently divided between the control of two rival parliaments, the GNC in the capital Tripoli and the House of Representatives, operating from the eastern city of Tobruk, each backed by their own militias for power, as well as number of groups fighting for control over its main resource of wealth.

However, delegates from the GNC have thus far rejected the UN’s call for unity as they seek more amendments to the proposed deal.

"The GNC decided not to propose names and to ask for more changes in the text," Leon told reporters and added "the international community has been very clear that after huge efforts to adapt the text... It is not possible to continue to do this."

According to the proposed deal, the GNC will be included in the new government and will be given one of two positions on the presidential council.

The House of Representatives will be given the post of prime minister, which will be backed by three deputy prime ministers.

Both the House of Representatives and the GNC are expected to vote on the proposal, although it is likely to face opposition by rival militias who still seek to gain ground on each other through fighting.

TRTWorld and agencies