Tunisia to host first face-to-face meeting of Libyan Political Dialogue Forum early November
11/10/2020 00:15, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Tunisia will host the first face-to-face meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) early next November, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) quoted Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNSMIL Stephanie Williams as saying Saturday.

Stephanie Williams announced the resumption of inclusive intra-Libyan talks, based on Security Council resolution 2510 (2020), which endorsed the conclusions of the Berlin Conference on Libya held on January 19, 2020, according to the statement.

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in order to protect the health of the participants, the LPDF will be held according to a hybrid formula, through a series of virtual sessions as well as face-to-face meetings, she pointed out.

Williams said the UNSMIL was «deeply grateful to the government of the Republic of Tunisia for hosting the first face-to-face meeting of the LPDF in early November, following the preparatory virtual consultations.»

President of the Republic Kais Saied had suggested at his meeting with Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNSMIL Stephanie Williams last September that Tunisia host a conference of national dialogue between the various Libyan sides, under the auspices of the United Nations.

During the meeting, he said, "the Tunisian position on the Libyan issue is consistent,» calling for a comprehensive political settlement to this crisis that preserves Libya's unity and sovereignty within the framework of an inclusive "inter-Libyan" dialogue under the UN umbrella.

Since receiving representatives of the Libyan Cities and Tribes Supreme Council last December, Kais Saied has reiterated on several occasions that Tunisia is ready to host a forum that brings together the various Libyan stakeholders to push towards achieving stability in this country.

The overall objective of the LPDF will be to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible timeframe in order to restore Libya's sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions.

The decision to convene an expanded and inclusive LPDF follows weeks of extensive engagement with key Libyan and international stakeholders.

The LPDF will be based on the progress and the consensual views emerging from the recent consultations among Libyans, including the Montreux recommendations and the understandings reached in Bouznika and Cairo.

In advance of the in-person political talks in Tunisia, UNSMIL will convene LPDF participants through preparatory virtual meetings, starting on October 26.

The United Nations will hold direct, face-to-face talks between delegations of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Geneva beginning on 19 October, with the hospitality of the Government of Switzerland.

It, in this vein, urged a complete stand-down of all military maneuvers and reinforcements to enable an agreement on a lasting ceasefire, including a demilitarised zone in central Libya, as well as to create the space for constructive political discussions.

UNSMIL strongly welcomed the constructive political and material assistance offered by the members of the international community and the tangible contributions made by all of Libya's neighbours to build confidence and consensus among the Libyan parties.

It also said it looked forward to engaging further with all regional and international stakeholders in moving the process forward.

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