Dozens of representatives from Libya are meeting in neighbouring Tunisia to try and find a peaceful future for the country after nearly a decade of strife.
The face-to-face encounter follows virtual meetings held by the participants earlier this month, as well as a permanent ceasefire deal that was signed in Geneva last month by Libya’s warring military factions.
The AFP news agency reports that in a video message UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the participants: “You have the opportunity to end a tragic conflict. Now it’s your turn to shape the future of your country.”
It’s hoped that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, called by the UN mission in Libya, will reach a deal on a political roadmap and timeline for elections.
The UN’s acting envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, described the gathering as a unique opportunity, and urged its participants to compromise and “be willing to make concessions for the sake” of the country.
Libya has witnessed several deadly and destructive conflicts in recent years because of political and military rivalry.
But the country needs unity on both the military and political fronts for a stable, long-term solution to the divisions, the BBC’s Rana Jawad reports from Tunis.