Libyan leaders have been called on by the United States and four European countries to accelerate the establishment of a legal basis for holding elections in the war-torn country.
A joint statement by the US, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK said, “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.”
The 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, was praised by the same statement.
The statement added, “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 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” was reiterated by the five countries.
The five countries added, “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.”
Since the 2011 ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been plagued by turmoil and divisions.
In an effort to reach a consensus on the constitutional framework to hold Libya’s long-awaited elections, a last round of UN-sponsored talks was held in Egypt last week.
In the hope that the vote will contribute to ending years of armed conflict that have plagued the oil-rich country, Libyans are still waiting for the stalled polls to take place.