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UN presses Libya peace talks

'We cannot wait any more and this will really be the final round,' says UN envoy Bernardino Leon as Libyan rivals meet in Morocco
Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Bernardino Leon, holds a press conference on 15 April, 2015, in the Morrocan city of Skhirat (AFP)

Delegates from Libya's rival parliaments gathered in Morocco on Thursday for what UN mediators demanded be a "final" push for a unity government to stem mounting terror threats and a desperate exodus of asylum-seekers.

Two assemblies currently vie for legislative authority in Libya: the recently-elected House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk, and the formerly elected General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli.

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

Rival governments have battled for power in the North African country since last August and militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group – which both governments oppose - have exploited the power struggle to launch increasingly grisly attacks.

UN envoy Bernardino Leon, who has been shuttling between the warring sides for months, said that the reported drowning of up to 400 would-be asylum-seekers off the Libyan coast earlier this week should be the spur for an agreement.

"I really hope that the negotiators that are coming today are understanding that we cannot wait any more and this will really be the final round," Leon said.

"This is Libya today - terrorism, no control on the borders, people dying every day in the Mediterranean, air strikes ... it cannot go on.

"The patience of Libyans is finished, and the patience of the international community is finished."

The UN envoy called on the rival negotiating teams to thrash out the full details of a unity government, including the names of ministers, to replace the rival administrations in Tripoli and Tobruk.

On Wednesday an air strike blamed on the Tobruk-based administration hit an air base controlled by GNC-aligned Libya Dawn.

Leon slammed the latest air strike on Mitiga airport, east of Tripoli, on Wednesday.

"It is an extremely negative move and of course it is unacceptable," he said.

"We hope that there will be an investigation on who is behind these attacks."