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UN, EU Urge Libyans to Accept Power-Sharing Deal

  • VOA News

Representatives of Libya and the United Nations gather in Berlin, June 10, 2015.

Representatives of Libya and the United Nations gather in Berlin, June 10, 2015.

The United Nations and major world powers are urging rival factions in Libya to accept a power-sharing agreement and put an end to nearly four years of fighting, terrorism and political turmoil.

U.N. diplomats and other top officials meeting in Berlin Wednesday issued a joint statement saying an inclusive political settlement is the only lasting solution to Libya's problems. They urged all Libyans to remove the remaining obstacles to a deal.

More than 20 Libyan representatives were in Berlin for the talks that also included diplomats from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — the European Union, Italy, Spain and many of Libya's North African neighbors.

Libya has been in chaos since longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. Islamic extremists seized the capital, Tripoli, last year and set up a rival government, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee to the east.

Islamic State militants have taken advantage of the upheaval and assumed control over territory. Thousands of Libyan migrants looking to escape the violence have turned to human traffickers to make the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to Europe.

U.N. special envoy Bernardino Leon has tried, but so far failed, to find a peaceful settlement, with the parties rejecting several proposals.

"The time has come to make an agreement," he said Wednesday. "We can continue working for months and for years maybe to reach a perfect agreement, but Libya doesn't have the time."

None of the Libyan envoys in Berlin has commented on Wednesday's talks. But representatives from the elected parliament already have dismissed Leon's latest peace proposal, saying they are "very unhappy" with it.

Some information in this report is from AP and AFP.

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