(AA) – The U.S. on Friday welcomed an announcement that a UN-facilitated Libyan political dialogue will again resume June 8 in Morocco.
“Libyan stakeholders participating in the UN dialogue are working to preserve Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as they finalize discussions on a draft political agreement that will form a national unity government,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
Bernardino Leon, the special representative to the Secretary-General on Libya, announced the resumption of the talks.
Commending Leon’s efforts, Harf said Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Friday with Libyan House of Representatives President Aguilla Saleh Eissa and Nurse Abu Sulaiman of the former General National Congress.
“Blinken highlighted our strong support for both groups’ decisions to attend the upcoming political dialogue and urged their support of the finalized political agreement and the establishment of a new national unity government as soon as possible,” she said.
Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.
Vying for legislative authority are the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and General National Congress that convenes in the capital, Tripoli.
The two assemblies support two rival governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.
In late February, the House of Representative reportedly suspended its participation in the talks because the rival government did not condemn an attack in the country that killed at least 40 people.
Leon delivered a draft proposal April 29 that calls for a political agreement among among the country’s opposing factions, a two-year transitional period and for all parties to respect the results of parliamentary elections.
It also calls for extending the mandate of the country’s constitution-drafting assembly.