Libya talks in Geneva end without enough progress on elections: UN adviser

Talks were aimed at finding a compromise to hold presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible

(L-R) Aguila Saleh Issa, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Libya, Stephanie Williams, United Nations Special Adviser on Libya and Khalid al-Mishri, Chairman of the High Council of State of Libya, attend the High-level Meeting on Libya Constitutional Track at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 28 June 2022. EPA
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Libya talks in Geneva ended on Thursday without making enough progress to move towards elections, the United Nations Libya adviser Stephanie Williams said in a statement.

“Despite the progress in this week’s negotiations between the heads of the respective chambers, disagreement persists on the eligibility requirements for the candidates in the first presidential elections,” Ms Williams said in a statement.

Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the country’s east-based parliament, and Khaled Al Meshri, head of the High Council of State based in Tripoli, began two days of talks on Tuesday at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

The UN said the talks will focus on a draft constitutional framework for elections after Libya’s rival factions failed to reach an agreement in their last round of talks in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

(Center, LtoR) Speaker of Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) Aguila Saleh, United Nations Special Adviser on Libya Stephanie Williams and President of Libya's High State Council of State (HSC) Khaled Al-Mishri give a press conference after a high-level meeting on Libya Constitutional track at the United Nations in Geneva, on June 28, 2022.  AFP

Ms Williams said both sides reached “unprecedented consensus” on several long-standing issues including those on the designation of each side’s headquarters and the division of responsibilities between the president and prime minister.

She urged both sides to “overcome the pending disagreement as soon as possible”.

Libya plunged into turmoil after a Nato-backed uprising in 2011 toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was later killed. It then became divided between rival governments — one in the east, backed by Khalifa Haftar, and a UN-supported administration in the capital, Tripoli. Each side is supported by different foreign powers.

Updated: June 30, 2022, 2:43 PM