The United States and four European countries have called on Libyan leaders to accelerate the establishment of a legal basis for holding elections in the war-torn country.
“We call on the House of Representatives, the High State Council, and their leaders to urgently finalize the legal basis so that credible, transparent, and inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections can be held as soon as possible,” said a joint statement by the US, France, Germany, Italy and the UK.
The statement praised progress made in UN-brokered talks of the Libyan constitutional committee held in Cairo last week to agree on a constitutional framework for holding the polls.
“We stress the need for a unified Libyan government able to govern and deliver these elections across the country, achieved through dialogue and compromise as soon as possible,” the statement said.
The five countries reiterated rejection of “actions that could lead to violence or to greater divisions in Libya, such as the creation of parallel institutions, any attempt to seize power through force, or refusal of peaceful transition of power to a new executive formed through a legitimate and transparent process.”
“We urge Libyan political leaders to engage constructively in negotiations, including through the good offices of UNSMIL, to unlock the executive impasse and agree on a pathway to elections,” they added.
Libya has been plagued by turmoil and divisions since the 2011 ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
A last round of UN-sponsored talks was held in Egypt last week, in an effort to reach a consensus on the constitutional framework to hold Libya’s long-awaited elections.
Libyans are still waiting for the stalled polls to take place in the hope that the vote will contribute to ending years of armed conflict that have plagued the oil-rich country.