• Switzerland's news in English

Geneva talks bring Libya factions together

AFP · 13 Jan 2015, 22:35

Published: 13 Jan 2015 22:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The talks will be overseen by UN envoy to Libya and the UN chief's special representative Bernardino Leon.

A press conference is scheduled on Wednesday afternoon before they start.
The oil-rich North African country is in tatters with rival governments and parliaments and a slew of militias fighting for territory.
"This is an opportunity the Libyans cannot afford to miss," the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on the eve of the talks.
"I want to praise both sides participating and encourage all those in Libya that have not yet decided on participation . . . to do so".

The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo at the start of Libya's 2011 uprising, which ousted and killed dictator Moammar Kadhafi, to protect civilians from his forces.

But the country descended rapidly into chaos, despite UN efforts to contain the violence. It is now mired in its worst fighting since Kadhafi's downfall.

And now, the head of the internationally-recognised government, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani says his beleaguered government needs the embargo to be lifted to fight the militias.

"The international community must cooperate with Libya to put an end to extremism and terrorism and help government institutions, namely the army, by lifting the arms embargo," Thani told AFP ahead of the talks.
The dialogue in Geneva aims at reaching an agreement on the formation of a unity government and the adoption of a new constitution — a tall order given the current situation.
Thani's government and the elected parliament have been based in the remote east since an Islamist-led coalition seized Tripoli in August.
The coalition known as Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) also holds third city Misrata.

It launched a bloody offensive in December to seize control of key oil terminals but was repelled by the army.
Most countries pulled out their diplomats from Tripoli after the city was taken by Libya Dawn.
Islamists, led by the UN-blacklisted Ansar al-Sharia, also control parts of second city Benghazi in the east and have been locked in battle with
pro-government forces since May.

Crucial juncture 

Story continues below…

The Islamic State (IS) group that has seized large areas in Iraq and Syria is also thought to have gained a foothold in eastern Libya, and recently
claimed to have executed two Tunisian journalists there.
The United Nations says that since fighting intensified in May, hundreds of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have fled their homes.
Libya's neighbours, fearful of a spillover of the violence, have repeatedly called for international intervention.
The European Union said earlier that the Geneva meeting "represents a last chance which must be seized".
A new round of talks had been scheduled for December 9th but was repeatedly delayed as fighting intensified between the government and Islamist-backed militias.
Each faction claims its army is the country's real and each seeks international recognition.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available