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Tough start for Libya’s political forum as talks stall

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Participants of the the UN-brokered Libyan Political Dialogue Forum failed to reach a full agreement in discussions over the future of Libya and potential resolutions to the country’s ongoing civil war.

Despite a week of meetings in Tunisia having already taken place, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams told journalists in Tunis on Sunday that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum would be continuing debates in a week’s time.

Despite no agreement being reached, Williams said the participants in the talks had “come together over significant issues in a very short period of time”.

The UN said that it will investigate the rumours about alleged bribes to obtain the votes of the participants of the dialogue.

“This is also a form of obstruction of the dialogue, about the progress that is being made, because it undermines the trust and confidence in the process,” Williams said.

“Those who are identified as obstructionists could be subject to international sanctions,” she added.

The talks are aimed at setting a roadmap out of Libya’s years long civil war, in an attempt to end years of chaos following the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

They were held under intense international pressure after previous diplomatic initiatives repeatedly collapsed, and amid a UN-brokered cease-fire agreement last month.

A group of 75 delegates from Libya, selected by the UN, have been engaging in the talks which this week led to an agreement between two warring sides to hold nationwide elections in December next year.

The country is currently split between the UN-supported government in the capital city of Tripoli, and rival authorities in eastern Libya backed by local militia, as well as both regional and foreign powers.