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UN envoy announced resumption of intra-Libyan talks

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TRIPOLI, Oct. 11 (Net) -- The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announced Saturday the resumption of inclusive intra-Libyan political and military talks.
A statement posted on the UN's website said the goal of the resumed Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) will be "to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements" that will lead to the holding of early national elections in order to restore Libya's sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions.
"Participants in the LPDF will be drawn from key Libyan constituencies, based on the principles of inclusivity, fair geographic, ethnic, political, tribal, and social representation, and with a firm commitment to the meaningful participation of Libyan women and youth," the statement said.
UNSMIL confirmed that it will strive to ensure broad consultations, transparency, and a rights-based approach during this "Libyan-led and Libyan-owned" process.
"Responding to the recommendation received from a great majority of Libyan constituencies, UNSMIL has made it a requirement for the participants to the LPDF to recuse themselves from political and sovereign positions in any new executive arrangement and to convene in good faith, with a spirit of cooperation and solidarity in the interest of their nation and to refrain from the use of hate speech and incitement to violence," the statement said.
It also urged a complete stand-down of all military maneuvers and reinforcements to enable an agreement on a lasting ceasefire, including a demilitarized zone in central Libya, as well as to create the space for constructive political discussions.
"The United Nations calls on all Libyans to take full advantage of this window of opportunity to restore lasting peace, security, prosperity, human rights and accountability for the Libyan people who have endured years of protracted conflict and political fragmentation," it said.
According to the statement, the LPDF will be held according to a hybrid formula through a series of virtual sessions as well as face-to-face meetings, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid escalating violence and political division, Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's government in 2011.
The country thenceforth has been subject to escalating violence and chaos. The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli and the House of Representatives allied with the eastern-based Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar.

Germany reports 3,483 more COVID-19 cases
BERLIN, Oct. 11 (Net) -- COVID-19 cases in Germany increased by 3,483 over the past 24 hours to 322,864, according to data released Sunday by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
And 11 more deaths lift the country's death toll to 9,615, according to the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.
Since Autumn begins, there has been a surge in COVID-19 infections in Germany with a daily record increase of over 4,000 cases.
"We do not know how the situation in Germany will develop in the next few weeks. It is possible that we will see more than 10,000 new cases per day," said RKI President Lothar Wieler during a press conference on Thursday.