Libyan rivals were urged by the US, on Monday, 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.
In a statement issued by the US Embassy, Norland said, “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.”
All participants in the upcoming Cairo meeting were urged by the US diplomat “to work on behalf of the Libyan people and reach the necessary consensus for establishing the constitutional basis for elections.”
In order to agree on constitutional arrangements for holding the polls, representatives of the Tobruk-based parliament and the Tripoli-based High Council of State, which acts as a senate, will participate in the second round of Egypt-hosted talks on May 15.
Last month, the first round of discussions was held in Cairo under UN auspices.
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, tension has mounted in Libya.
In the hope that the vote will contribute to ending years of armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country, Libyans are waiting for the stalled elections to take place.