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Libyan Talks Get off to Positive Start in Geneva

A new round of peace talks between Libya’s warring factions has kicked off in Geneva with all parties showing a “constructive spirit”, the United Nations has said.

“I am confident that Libyans participating and those who hopefully will join the talks have a very clear determination to reach an agreement, to pacify the country and to overcome the crisis,” Bernadino Leon, the UN envoy for Libya and mediator in the talks, said on Monday.

“There is a very constructive spirit. There are very good ideas on the table,” he said in a statement after Monday’s talks, adding “everything is positive.”

During a first-round of UN-mediated discussions in the Swiss city earlier this month, the warring factions from the country agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government.

Leon warned ahead of the first round of talks that they were a last-ditch effort to prevent all-out chaos, and that the country was rapidly becoming a hotbed of armed group.

He said Monday that he was satisfied with the progress so far.

“It’s an excellent atmosphere. What is important is to build trust,” he said, adding: “All these steps we are taking are sound steps.”
The north African nation has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a 2011 uprising, with rival governments and powerful militias battling for control of key cities and the country’s oil riches.

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