SIRTE, Libya

The Libyan parliament’s session kicked off on Monday in Sirte for a vote of confidence on the new interim government.

The session began in the presence of 132 deputies — out of a total of 200 — chaired by Speaker of Parliament Aguila Saleh.

“Thank God, we meet today in Sirte to turn the page on division,” Saleh said.

Earlier Monday, Libya’s Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh arrived in the coastal city of Sirte to present his unity government lineup to the House of Representatives.

On Saturday, Dbeibeh proposed a unity government of 27 members, promising that the government will prioritize “improving services, unifying state institutions and ending the transitional period by holding elections”.

On Feb. 5, Libya’s rival political groups agreed during UN-mediated talks to form an interim unity government to lead the country to elections this December in which Dbeibeh was designated as prime minister and to form a new government.

Libyans hope that this step will end years of civil war that has engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar Al-Qaddafi in 2011.

The war was exacerbated when warlord Khalifa Haftar, supported by the UAE, Egypt, Russia and France among others, carried out a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognized Libyan government for control of the North African country.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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