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Libya's GNC 'ready' for UN-brokered talks

General National Congress says its delegation 'has finalized its vision' for UN-sponsored dialogue for warring factions next week
The president of the General National Congress (GNC), Nuri Abu Sahmein speaks in Tripoli on 30 January, 2014 (AFP)

Libya's General National Congress (GNC) said that its delegation was ready for an upcoming UN-sponsored dialogue next week between the country's warring factions.

"The [GNC] delegation has finalized its vision for the upcoming dialogue session and is fully ready for the talks," GNC spokesman Omar Hemeidan told The Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

Hemeidan said a delegation of MPs would meet with Bernardino Leon, the UN's special envoy for Libya, prior to the dialogue session, which has been slated for 5 January.

Hemeidan said the GNC preferred that the talks take place in Libya. He added, however, that the delegation was discussing a proposal that the talks be held in next-door Tunisia.

One week ago, Leon had told the UN Security Council in New York that Libya's rival camps had agreed to hold talks on 5 January to discuss a proposed three-point "roadmap."

Leon met twice with GNC Speaker Nuri Abu Sahmein at the assembly's headquarters in capital Tripoli over the past two months. At the meetings, Leon officially invited the GNC to take part in the upcoming talks.

For four months, Leon has been leading UN efforts to resolve Libya's lingering political and security crises. The first round of talks took place in Libya's southwestern city of Ghadames.

Libya has been dogged by political instability since the 2011 ouster and death of long-ruling strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Ever since, rival militias have frequently locked horns, bringing violence to the country's main cities, especially capital Tripoli and Benghazi.

The sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each of which has its own institutions.

Two assemblies currently vie for legislative authority: the recently-elected House of Representatives (HoR), and the GNC, which – even though its mandate ended in August – continues to convene in Tripoli.

The two parliaments – which question each other's legitimacy - support two rival governments, which are respectively headquartered in the two cities.