Libyan parliament backs UN peace plan

Internationally-recognised Libyan parliament backs U.N. peace plan and proposes amendments

Special UN envoy Bernardino Leon
Special UN envoy Bernardino Leon

Libya‘s internationally recognized parliament Wednesday softened its position on a UN peace proposal, a day ahead of the expected resumption of talks between the country‘s two rival governments in Morocco.

The elected House of Representatives decided to accept the peace plan published this month by UN envoy Bernardino Leon, subject to a number of amendments, Hamza al-Amrouni of the assembly president‘s office said.

Al-Amrouni said the parliament wants a proportion of seats in a proposed new upper house reserved for members of the centrist bloc in the country‘s former interim assembly, the Islamist-leaning General National Congress.

The United Nations had proposed that members of the Congress, which has been revived by mainly Islamist militias who control the capital, Tripoli, would be selected to fill 90 of the 120 seats in the proposed State Council.

The House of Representatives is based in the far eastern city of Tobruk and is aligned with General Khalifa Haftar, who has been leading a military campaign against radical Islamist militias.

The Tobruk assembly also wants to ensure that the powers of the supreme commander of the armed forces will be held either by a prime minister it elects or by the House of Representatives itself, al-Amrouni said.

There was no immediate response to the proposed amendments from the Tripoli authorities, who have accepted the UN plan, or from the UN mission to Libya.

The UN and European countries have been pushing for a solution to the Libyan conflict, which has allowed the Islamic State extremist group to gain a foothold on the southern coast of the Mediterranean and added to the tide of refugees fleeing by sea towards Italy.

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