ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s president is proposing that Libya’s tribal groups hold meetings in a neighboring country to find new solutions to the conflict tearing oil-rich Libya apart.
Fighting among militias, arms and migrant trafficking and extremism in Libya are a big concern to neighboring Algeria and Tunisia, whose presidents met Sunday in Algiers. Both leaders were elected in recent months, and are eager to keep Libya’s lawlessness from further spilling over their borders.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called for meetings in either the capital of Algeria or Tunisia “with all of Libya’s tribes, to begin a new era for building new institutions, allowing for the organization of general elections and establishment of new foundations of a democratic Libyan state.”
Any such meetings should have U.N. backing, Tebboune said at a news conference after his talks with Tunisia’s Kais Saied.
Tebboune insisted that any solution to Libya’s conflict should come from Libyans themselves and “protected from foreign interference and weapons flows.”
Libya is torn between a weak U.N.-recognized administration in the capital of Tripoli overseeing the country’s west, run by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, and the self-styled Libyan Arab Armed Forces led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, based in eastern Libya.
Sarraj’s administration is backed by Turkey and to a lesser degree Qatar and Italy. Hifter’s forces have received support from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt as well as France and Russia.
International powers approved plans to restore peace to Libya two weeks ago, but the U.N. envoy for Libya accuses some signatories of stepping up weapons deliveries despite the truce efforts.