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No plans to organize national conference on reconciliation in Libya — UN envoy

A national reconciliation conference originally planned to be held in Libya’s Ghadames on April 14-16 was indefinitely postponed due to the escalation of tensions

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. There are no plans to convene a national conference on Libya’s political future instead of the one that was scheduled for April but canceled because of the conflict escalation, UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame told TASS on Thursday.

"I hope but I don’t think it is possible as long as fighting is taking place," he said. "I think we should look for an international decision that at the same time decides the ceasefire, decides some kind of separation of forces, and decides to return to the negotiations table through a format like the national conference or a similar one."

When asked about possible organization of a meeting between Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the Government of National Accord, and Khalifa Haftar, Field Marshal of the Libyan National Army, Salame said "a more complex format" is needed to settle the conflict.

"I think the conflict in Libya cannot be reduced to only these two individuals. I think we need to bring other people in order to make sure that a lot of people who have been part to this conflict will be also part of its resolution," he said. "A national conference is one solution or an enlargement of those represented in the negotiations from two people to more than that. Ten, fifteen or twenty people would be, I think, a good idea."

Currently, Libya has two supreme executive authorities, namely the internationally-recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and the interim government of Abdullah al-Thani, seated in the east of the country, along with the elected parliament, which is supported by the Libyan National Army.

In early April, Field Marshal of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar announced the launch of an offensive against Tripoli. Sarraj ordered all military units loyal to him to gear up to defend the capital. The warring factions are currently involved in battles in the outskirts of Tripoli.

The United States had to postpone a national reconciliation conference originally planned to be held in Libya’s Ghadames on April 14-16 due to the escalation of tensions.