On Monday, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, expressed his gratitude to Tunisia for hosting the Libya Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) as well as for its long-standing support for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Guterres, in a videotaped speech at the opening session of the Tunis-held LPDF, said that today’s meeting aims to continue forging a new era of peace and stability in Libya. He urged all participants to use the opportunity to end the tragic conflict in the country and create a new future of dignity and hope.
The UN chief also appreciated the Libyan parties’ signing the ceasefire agreement in Geneva last month and described it as an essential step forward.
He also addressed the LPDF participants, saying, “Now it’s your turn to shape the future of your country, your commitment to this process will help restore Libyan sovereignty, and the democratic legitimacy of its institutions.”
He added that reaching compromises is the only approach that paves the way for national unity.
Guterres called on the international community to provide its strong backing, by ensuring full adherence to the UN arms embargo.
Libya’s rival factions began much-awaited political peace talks in Tunisia’s capital on Monday, brokered by the United Nations. The goal of these talks is drawing a roadmap to presidential and parliamentary elections for the country. 75 Libyan delegates, selected by the UN, are to take part in the six-day forum.
Tunisia’s President, Kais Saied, attended the opening ceremony, calling the forum “historic by all measures”. He added that UN efforts aim to set “clear measures and specific dates” to reach “a peaceful solution” to the conflict. Saeid also called on those who will lead the transitional period to refrain from running in the next presidential or parliamentary elections.