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New round of Libyan peace talks kick off in Algeria
The second round of a UN-sponsored Libyan dialogue kicked off Monday in the Algerian capital of Algiers in a bid to settle a four-year crisis hitting the North African country.
In his opening speech, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNISMIL) Bernardino Leon said "political solution is the only way to restore peace and stability in Libya, "urging all Libyan warring parties to join "this UN-sponsored peace process hosted by Algeria."
The UN official further hailed Algeria's effort to help the Libyan parties get together in this dialogue process.
For his part, Algerian Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs Abdelkader Messahel stressed that "the enemy of Libya is terrorism, chaos and conflict."
He asserted that forming a national unity government and reconciliation in Libya are the ultimate goal of this dialogue.
Algeria, which shares a common border and history with Libya, has made huge efforts in helping the neighbor to the east find a solution to the years-long crisis, Messahel said earlier during the first round of the dialogue in March.
The 20 Libyan political figures and activists who gathered in Algiers in the first round agreed to commit to dialogue as a unique way to restore peace in their war torn nation. They also voiced their rejection of any foreign military intervention in their country.
Libya, a major oil producer in North Africa, has been witnessing a frayed political process after its leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled during the 2011 political turmoil. The country is now deadlocked in a dogfight between the pro-secular army and Islamist militants.
The capital city of Tripoli fell in the hands of Libya Dawn last August. The armed Islamist coalition has established its own government to confront the internationally recognized one, currently in exile in the eastern town of Tobruk.
Forces loyal to the two major factions have been fighting with each other in cities like Tripoli, Benghazi and Gharyan, causing a humanitarian crisis with at least 120,000 people forced to leave their homes, as well as shortage of food and medical supplies along with mounting casualties.
The UN has held several rounds of dialogue between the conflicting parties since September 2014, but clashes continued despite an agreed truce.
[Source: Xinhua, Algiers, 13Apr15]
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