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Libya's internationally-backed PM to step down in October

The head of Libya’s UN-backed government plans to step down by the end of October 2020 as part of efforts to broker a peace agreement

Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of Libya's internationally-backed government based in Tripoli, yesterday announced plans to step down by the end of October, news agencies reported.

As he was delivering a speech on state TV, Al-Sarraj said that he will hand over power to a new executive authority, noting this is part of efforts being exerted to find a political solution to the country's conflict.

"I declare my sincere desire to hand over my duties to the next executive authority no later than the end of October," he said.

"Hopefully, the dialogue committee will complete its work and choose a new presidential council and prime minister," he added.

Citing the work of UN-sponsored talks in Geneva, Al-Sarraj said they led to a "new preparatory phase" to unify Libyan institutions and prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections.

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Al-Sarraj is head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which was formed in 2015, while eastern Libya and much of the south is controlled by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).

The LNA, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and covertly by some Western countries and Israel, launched an offensive in April 2019 to capture Tripoli from Al-Sarraj's government.

Turkish support for the UN-backed government in Tripoli undermined the offensive and Haftar's militias were driven out from the outskirts of the capital and other western towns a year later.

Following the defeat, international pressure to bring the two rival parties together increased leading to ceasefire and dialogue meetings in Geneva and Morocco.

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