Tobruk cancels planned Malta meet between Libyan rivals

Late on Friday night, both the Tobruk and Tripoli authorities made known their wish to the Maltese government that the presidents of the two parliaments wanted to meet in Malta the following day.

The presidents of Libya’s two parliaments - the internationally-recognised government in Tobruk, and its rival Islamist faction Libya Dawn in Tripoli - were scheduled to meet in Malta on Saturday.

Late on Friday night, both the Tobruk and Tripoli authorities made known their wish to the Maltese government that the presidents of the two parliaments wanted to meet in Malta the following day.

The Maltese government accepted to provide logistical support for the meeting to take place.

Following the confirmation of flights from delegations of both sides, a delegation led by the president of the Tripoli General National Congress, Nouri Abusahmein landed in Malta late yesterday afternoon. But the Tobruk delegation cancelled their participation.

Libya’s rival factions have given themselves just four days to reach a UN-backed national unity government agreement designed to end their conflict.

The target date was agreed on under the auspices of UN envoy Martin Kobler, who has met with representatives of the two rival parliaments of Tobruk and Tripoli.

A deal was close several times over the past year of UN-brokered talks but has always fallen at the final hurdle.

The UN says forming a unified Libyan government is a precondition for tackling the Libyan branch of ISIS, which has profited from the chaos in Libya to build a position there.

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