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U.N. envoy visits Libya to back elected parliament
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 09 - 2014

A U.N. special envoy visited Libya's elected parliament in the eastern town of Tobruk on Monday in a show of support against a rival assembly set up by armed groups that seized the capital Tripoli last month.
The new U.N contact man for Libya, Bernardino Leon, arrived in Tobruk to discuss with lawmakers a political solution to the crisis arising from two competing parliaments and governments.
The House of Representatives and senior government officials moved their headquarters east to near the Egyptian border when Tripoli fell to an alliance of armed factions from the western city of Misrata in August after a long battle with rival groups.
The House was elected in June and its previous name, the General National Congress, was scrapped because many Libyans associated with political chaos. But the alliance controlling Tripoli and some former lawmakers have reinstated the GNC.
"The legitimacy lies only with the House of Representatives which won legitimate elections," said Samir Ghattas, spokesman for the U.N. Mission in Libya. "We want a political solution and are against the use of violence."
Libya's persistent fighting and lawlessness have prompted most foreign countries and the United Nations to close their diplomatic missions in the country.
The conflict is part of a wider struggle among former rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but have now turned their weapons on each other in their fight to take power and control the country's vast oil reserves.
Western powers worry a chaotic Libya could flood Europe with migrants and become a safe haven for militant Islamists.
The volatile situation in Tripoli has been exacerbated by separate clashes in the eastern port city of Benghazi where Khalifa Haftar, a renegade general from the Libyan army, has launched war on Islamist militants.
Haftar's units, allied to regular special forces, have lost several army camps to Islamists who have been trying for days to seize Benghazi's airport and air base.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/110257.aspx


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