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UN envoy welcomes meeting of Libyan military leaders

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar (middle) is one of the key political players in Libya today

Tripoli, Libya | Xinhua | United Nations envoy Stephanie Williams on Saturday welcomed a meeting between military leaders from the Libyan interim government and the eastern-based army, reiterating UN’s support for a peaceful resolution to the country’s longstanding conflict.

The UN secretary-general’s special adviser for Libya made the remarks after Muhammad Al-Haddad, chief of staff of the Government of National Unity, and Abdel Razek Al-Nadori, acting general commander of the eastern-based Libyan National Army, met on Saturday in the northern coastal city of Sirte.

A number of senior military figures from both sides also attended the meeting, the second of its kind between the two military leaders.

“I reiterate the support of the United Nations for all efforts made at various levels to unify the military institution,” Williams wrote on Twitter.

The oil-rich North African country has been in turmoil since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011. The escalating tensions between a number of political forces in 2014 resulted in two separate governments — the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord recognized by the UN and the House of Representatives allied with the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar.

On Feb. 5, 2021, the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum selected a temporary unified executive authority to take Libya to national elections on Dec. 24. The country’s High National Elections Commission suggested on Dec. 22 that the elections be postponed by a month to Jan. 24 over technical and legal concerns.

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