Libya’s fragile unity government hosted an international conference Thursday to drum up support as the war-battered country gears up for a landmark December election, IgbereTV reports.
“Your presence is proof that we are on the road to peace,” said the head of the interim government, Abdelhamid Dbeibah, promising that the vote would be held “on time” and urging “respect for the results”.
Libya and the UN have been striving to turn the page on the violence that has wracked the country since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
A ceasefire between eastern and western factions last year led to the unity government taking office in March with a mandate to take the country to elections.
“Tripoli has recovered. It is the capital of all Libyans,” Dbeibah said in his opening speech at the Conference in Support of the Stability of Libya, the first of its kind to be held in the country for years.
The presidential vote is set to take place on December 24, but legislative polls have been delayed, with a date to be set in the new year, amid wrangling between factions in the country’s east and west.
Foreign powers have backed various sides in Libya’s complex war, and the presence of mercenaries and foreign troops is one of the toughest obstacles to lasting peace.
“There is no stability without full national sovereignty,” said Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush