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Security Council Endorses UN Plan to Break Libya Stalemate

  • Associated Press

FILE - Ghassan Salame, U.N. Libya envoy, speaks during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Sept. 26, 2017.

The U.N. Security Council endorsed a U.N. action plan Tuesday to break the political stalemate in Libya that has divided the country into competing governments with two parliaments and an array of rival militias.

A presidential statement approved by all 15 members backs the proposal by new U.N. envoy, Ghassan Salame, to amend the U.N. peace agreement signed by different Libyan factions in 2015.

It also welcomes Salame's objective of supporting a Libyan-led transition that will lead to the establishment of a "stable, unified, representative and effective" government.

Libya fell into chaos after the ouster and killing of its longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

The country's divisions have empowered hundreds of militias to become the real power on the ground where human trafficking, fuel smuggling and terrorists have also thrived.

FILE - French President Emmanuel Macron stands between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, left, and General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), who shake hands after talks over a political deal to help end Libya’s crisis in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, July 25, 2017.
FILE - French President Emmanuel Macron stands between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, left, and General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), who shake hands after talks over a political deal to help end Libya’s crisis in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, July 25, 2017.

But in late July, President Fayez Sarraj of Libya's internationally recognized unity government in the west and eastern military leader Gen. Khalifa Haftar met in Paris and committed to a cease-fire.

They also agreed to work toward presidential and parliamentary elections and to find a roadmap for securing the lawless country against terrorism and trafficking.

Libya's parliament, which was elected in 2014, has refused to give its vote of confidence to the government headed by Serraj. It insisted on amending a divisive article in the 2015 peace agreement which keeps the command of the army under the parliament instead of giving it to Serraj.

Salame has proposed amendments to the peace agreement.

Last month, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Libya the top priority for mediation, saying he believes "progress can be made in the short term." He appealed to all countries with influence in Libya and all Libyans "to seize this opportunity and to be able to overcome the divisions and move in the direction of a solution."

The Security Council strongly urged all Libyans "to work together in a spirit of compromise and to engage constructively in the inclusive political process" set out in Salame's plan.

The council also reaffirmed that the 2015 peace agreement "remains the only viable framework to end the Libyan political crisis."

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