UNSMIL ends talks in Tunisia, calls for new round next week

UNSMIL ends talks in Tunisia, calls for new round next week

November 16, 2020 - 20:08
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Written By: SafaAlharathy

The Acting UN envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams has said she was encouraged with the outcomes of the round of Libyan direct talks, which ended in Tunisia, indicating that the delegates will resume virtual talks next week.

At a press conference on Sunday, Williams said she was "very pleased" as the talks lead to an agreement on the date of the presidential and parliamentary elections, the determination of powers, and the conditions for running for the Presidential Council and government.

The UN envoy indicated that the participants in the Libyan dialogue reached in the seventh day of discussions a consensus in three basic files, the first of which is determining the date of holding elections, the role for the executive authority, and the conditions for running for the Presidential Council.

She further noted that the Presidential Council's role will be limited to working on national reconciliation, and will only include three members representing the regions of the south, east, and west.

The delegates also discussed the government's competence, which will be limited to providing services to the Libyan people, such as water, electricity, and others, according to the UN envoy statements.

She pointed out that the Presidential Council and the government will be run by technocrats, but the bodies will work as separate structures.

"We have agreed to reconvene in about a week in a virtual meeting to agree on the selection mechanism for the coming authority," Williams told the reporters, noting that those who will be chosen for these positions will only occupy the posts for a short period.

However, Williams did admit that the talks ended without naming a new government to oversee the transition stage until the possible elections next year.

"No names were discussed in the meeting room" she confirmed, clarifying that the proposal to sideline all senior officials who had a role in the government since 2014 did not enjoy unanimity.

She also indicated that the proposals put forward concerning the representation of women have been welcomed.

"The voices of women and youth in the conference room were strong", Williams said, adding that they managed to achieve consensus and bridge the rift between parties.

Williams confirmed that there is still a lot of work to do and that delegates will resume talks online next week to discuss the selection mechanisms of the legal committee and the constitutional basis for the election, which will be an issue of Libyan sovereignty, according to her statements.