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Leon hosts press conference on the progress of the dialogue

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In a press conference hosted by Leon on Tuesday night, Bernardino Leon, the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), talked about the dialogue. He called for the factions of the dialogue to go back to Skhirat to continue negotiations, and he stated that the doors of the dialogue are not closed, the ones from the HoR who refused the last amendments on the agreement are not all of the HoR members, it’s just a small group of them.

However, there is a large number of members of the HoR who have no problem with the amendments. He said that we have to come to an agreement for the sake of trust; without trust we cannot start thinking about constructing the future if Libya.

His statement in the press conference, which was posted on the UNSMIL website is below:

“We are in a normal moment which is the usual process in any such negotiations like the ones we what we are having here in Skhirat. So, we have a big debate and this debate reflects the interest of the parties of getting the best possible agreement. It reflects the diversity of views in Libya. And this is a debate where people exchange words. So from this point of view we see this a positive debate. They are not shooting. They are each one expressing their views. So, let us leave them continue this way and us leave them participating in the debate. I think the closer we are to the possibility of a final agreement the more we will see tough positions, there will be strong views expressed by the different actors. It doesn’t mean that we will not reach agreement.

It would not be is the first time we have people that people expressing huge difficulties to be part of a process sand people that finally are present in the final signing. This proposal we have presented is a proposal that should not have winners or losers. If someones is thinking that there will be clear winners and clear losers this person wouldn’t be understanding what we are trying to do.

We will work on agreement that respects the principle of consensus, the principles of inclusion and balance, and this is what the United Nations has been trying to do and will continue to do.

There is still lack of trust between the parties, which is partly explaining what is going on in the talks. This means difficulties for reaching a final agreement. It mean also difficulties for being more flexible.

The parties have still to overcome this situation. They have to understand each other. In every negotiation each side has concerns. These concerns have to be taken into account by each one. They have to try to understand each other this will build trust and build also a more flexible approach.

The debate today is based on elements of procedure and elements of substance. Let me enhance the first ones whether the text should be changed (or) should not be changed. We understand the positions of each one, those who signed in July, those who want to join now and have remarks.

I think from the point of view of substance at this stage I think all of you are aware of the different ideas, the parties are not that far. So, I am not too worried about the substance. I think the gap is not that big so it should be easy to bridge it. From the point of view of substance we are also reflecting on different ideas and we believe we have also seen before differences of criteria on some procedural aspects and it was always possible to reach a solution, to find a formula to accommodate the different views and we still hope this will be the case.

What I would like to enhance once again is that Libyans have to look around. They should not stay looking inside each other and these points around the articles or around the different proposals. What is important is that there are many people suffering in Libya and these people are really hoping there is a solution. And also the international community is expecting the Libyans to solve their differences because there is terrorism, there is migration mafias, there are many problems that are affecting Libya but also the international community.

So we all hope that Libyans will understand this and we all hope this debate they are having today in different parts of Libya will be solved positively and that all of them will be back in Skhirat to finalize our work, to discuss the government and hopeful to sign before the 20th of September.”