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UN: Libya Peace Talks Extended Despite Clashes

Mohammed Chouaib, head of delegation from the UN-recognized government in the eastern city of Tobruk, speaks to the media as he arrives at the Palais des Congres of Skhirate 30 km south of Rabat, March 20, 2015.

Despite fierce fighting around Libya's capital, Tripoli, United Nations-led peace talks in Morocco will be extended for two more days.

The talks being held in the Moroccan resort town of Skhirat nearly fell apart after forces allied to the internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk attacked Tripoli.

But U.N. officials Sunday said there still could be an agreement on a unity government in a day or two.

Western leaders say the U.N. talks are the only way to end the chaos in Libya, where the two rival governments and armed factions are battling for control, and Islamist militants have gained ground in the resulting mayhem.

The United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain say they “are deeply concerned about the growing threat from terrorist groups in Libya.”

A joint statement released late Saturday by the U.S. State Department said the six nations urge quick agreement on a National Unity Government and on the implementation of a speedy cease-fire.

The six nations also called on the warring parties whose fighting is endangering civilian lives and destroying Libya’s national infrastructure to stop, while at the same time asking for Libyan political leaders to make clear their support for the dialogue.

A meeting of Libyan municipalities hosted by the European Union will be held in Brussels Monday and Tuesday.