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Libyan rivals hold first joint meeting in Morocco

Two warring Libyan parties yesterday held the first ever face-to-face UN-sponsored meeting in the Moroccan city of Skhirat from which a draft agreement is expected to be announced soon, Al-Quds newspaper reported.

Al-Quds reported AFP saying that the UN mission organised the meeting, which included representatives from both the Tobruk-based parliament and the parliament in Tripoli, as well as independent factions.

Previously, the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino León had met with each party separately and pass messages from one to the other.

Speaking to the press, representative of the Tripoli parliament Saleh Al-Makhzoum said: "Today's meeting was hopeful and it included much rapprochement. The UN exerted much effort to bring us together." He noted that they came together on a draft deal proposed by the UN.

Meanwhile, Abu-Baker Baira, representative of the Tobruk-based parliament, said: "In general, there is an agreement on most of the issues. This meeting will be summed up by a UN statement… The UN is to issue a written document to be signed by all sides ready for discussion."

Tawfik Chahibi of the Tripoli parliament said each side would go back to discuss the document after it had been signed.

"Then, we will return to work it out article by article," he said. "I hope we will achieve an agreement within two or three weeks." He noted that the most important issue now is to accept and sign the UN document.

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