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UN Welcomes Southern Libya Peace, Urges National Deal

United Nations Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Martin Kobler speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Nov. 22, 2015

The United Nations welcomed a peace agreement signed by two tribes in southern Libya and reiterated its calls for the approval of a national pact to end more than a year of political crisis in the country.

Qatar brokered the deal between the Tuareg and Tebu tribes in the town of Ubari, and the state-run QNA news agency said it includes a permanent cease-fire and the return of displaces people to their homes. A joint statement between the two sides urged all Libyans to reconcile and work together to build their country.

The United Nations has been working to broker a national agreement between two competing governments, one recognized by the international community based in Tobruk and another in Tripoli.

A U.N. spokesman said Tuesday the tribal deal is an important development and that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes Qatar can again use its influence on a national scale.

"All such local initiatives aimed at cease-fires and reconciliation will need to be complemented by a nationwide political agreement in order to minimize potential conflict going forward," the statement said.

The new U.N. envoy for Libya, Martin Kobler, held talks with officials in Tripoli and Tobruk on Saturday and Sunday and said "it is the time to conclude an agreement." He called on both sides to vote on a deal as soon as possible.

"We do not want the Libyan people to suffer from the lack of medicines in hospitals," Kobler said. "We do not want to have internally displaced persons. We want prosperity in this country; prosperity means that there must be security and a sound political development."