National Forum to be held on set date

Despite tension in the capital due to the Libyan National Army (LNA)’s attempt to enter Tripoli, the National Forum will be held on the date set by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), 14-16 April, UNSMIL Envoy Ghassan Salame announced Saturday.

In the past two days, the Libyan National Army (LNA)’s progress in the western region and its Commander Khalifa Haftar’s declaration of “Operation to Liberate Libya” on Thursday have made many expect that the National Forum would be delayed because a “civil war” might erupt in the upcoming period.

Salame said the UNSMIL is exerting efforts to deescalate the situation in Libya after Haftar controlled several cities such as Gharyan and al-Heira and is heading towards the capital where his rival, head of the Government of the National Accord (GNA) Faiez al-Sarraj, is based to “liberate it from terrorists.”

“I want to reassure Libyans that the UN will not leave them by themselves and will stay in Libya, working towards a political solution, silencing the guns and [reaching] a peaceful political understanding between the various parties,” Salame said following a meeting with Sarraj.

During the National Forum, whose logo has been revealed on Wednesday, the LNA and Sarraj will be brought together to agree on holding elections and unifying the state institutions.

“The LNA will secure [the forum], as the war on terror is separate from political talks, and the international community will support the liberating of Tripoli because it is fed up with the chaos of the armed groups controlling Tripoli,” LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari said Friday.


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