World, Middle East

US urges Libyans to agree on constitutional basis for elections

2nd round of talks is expected to take place in Cairo next week to agree on constitutional basis for polls

Mohammad Erteima   | 09.05.2022
US urges Libyans to agree on constitutional basis for elections US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland speaks to press. ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

TRIPOLI, Libya

The US on Monday urged Libyan rivals to agree on a constitutional basis for holding the country's long-awaited general elections.

US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland held talks with Khaled al-Mishri, the head of the High Council of State, in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

"We agreed on the need to support the UN-led process intended to lead to parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible as demanded by Libyan voters," Norland said in a statement issued by the US Embassy.

The US diplomat urged all participants in the upcoming Cairo meeting "to work on behalf of the Libyan people and reach the necessary consensus for establishing the constitutional basis for elections."

Representatives of the Tobruk-based parliament and Tripoli-based High Council of State, which acts as a senate, will participate in the second round of Egypt-hosted talks on May 15 to agree on constitutional arrangements for holding the polls.

The first round of discussions was held in Cairo last month under UN auspices.

Tension has mounted in Libya since parliament in March gave confidence to a new government headed by Fathi Bashagha, a former interior minister, while Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh insists on remaining at his post as the country's prime minister.

Libyans are waiting for the stalled elections to take place in the hope that the vote will contribute to ending years of armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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