Libya government backs UN peace talks

'We express our support for Bernardino's efforts'

KHARTOUM - Libya's internationally recognised government has given its backing to UN-brokered talks between warring factions aimed at halting unrest across the country, its foreign minister said late Thursday.
UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon in Libya chaired a first round of talks between rival politicians in the oasis town of Ghadames in September, and will lead a new round of negotiations on December 9.
"As the foreign minister, I welcome the holding of the second Ghadames meeting and we express our support for Bernardino's efforts," Mohamed al-Dairi said in Khartoum late Thursday.
"We want the Ghadames approach to reach a government of national unity to manage the transitional period," Dairi said.
Dairi's government has been virtually confined to the remote eastern towns of Shahat and Tobruk since Islamist-backed militia seized Tripoli in August.
Since then, a rival administration has been formed in the capital.
Dairi said there would be "another meeting for military formations and armed groups that will be separate from the meeting for the political parties".
He did not specify which armed groups would be taking part in the discussions.
Some of these groups have seized vital oil installations, but Dairi said most of these areas were under his administration's control, "except for some small areas under the control of armed military formations outside the authority of the state".
Dairi was in the Sudanese capital for talks between Libya's neighbours -- Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger and Tunisia, as well as Sudan -- who have pledged their support for the UN mediation effort.
More than three years after longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a NATO-backed revolt, Libya is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and has rival parliaments as well as governments.