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Libyan parliament suspends participation in political intra-Libyan talks in Geneva

The parliament urged all members of the delegation to leave Geneva and return to Libya

CAIRO, February 24. /TASS/. Libya’s House of Representatives (internationally recognized parliament) decided on Monday to suspend participation in the political track of intra-Libyan talks in Geneva, the first round of which is scheduled for February 26, the Libyan Al-Wasat news outlet reported on Monday.

The parliament urged all members of the delegation to leave Geneva and return to Libya, denying "the involvement of the UN Mission," the report said. According to Second Deputy Speaker of the parliament Ahmid Houma, "the House of Representatives has decided to suspend its participation in the political track of the Geneva dialogue, which was to start on Wednesday, as the UN mission interferes in the process of defining the participants of the talks."

"The parliament defined 13 people for participating in the political meeting, with the list submitted to the UN mission," he said, adding that "the mission only chose a few people, not all, without consulting with the House of Representatives in advance, which is unacceptable."

The second round of talks on military issues officially kicked off in Geneva on February 18. However, in the evening the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj informed the United Nations' Support Mission in Libya that he was suspending participation in the military commission’s work after the Libyan National Army shelled the Tripoli port. The mission released a statement on February 19 expressing hope that the Geneva discussions would continue. It condemned the port’s shelling, calling for ending the escalation. The talks resumed on February 20.

The first round of talks was held in Geneva on February 3-8. The discussions were aimed at achieving a long-term ceasefire. Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salame acts as a mediator at the talks.

On January 19, a conference on Libyan settlement was held in Berlin at the level of heads of state and government, including Russia. In the final document, participants in the conference called for a ceasefire, pledged to refrain from interfering into Libya's internal affairs, suggested to set up a unified government and launch reforms for restoring statehood. The sides in the conflict also agreed to setting up a special commission for ceasefire monitoring.

There are currently two executive bodies operating in Libya - the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, and the transitional cabinet in the east of the country supported by the House of Representatives (parliament) and the Libyan National Army.