A UN-sponsored Libya National Conference, which was due to be held in four days’ time, has been postponed.
The aim of the three-day meeting was to bring Libyans from across the country around a negotiating table to chart the country’s political future.
But a statement by Ghassan Salamé, the special representative to the UN’s Mission to Libya, said he could not ask Libyans to attend a conference “to the backdrop of artillery shelling and air raids”.
The postponement comes amidst renewed conflict on the fringes of the capital, Tripoli, between some of the country’s biggest and most powerful armed rivals.
The latest fighting began after an attack by forces loyal to eastern Libya’s General Khalifa Haftar, who are opposed to the UN-backed government in Tripoli and the other armed groups who nominally support it.
It is a setback to the momentum that the UN spent months building towards a national dialogue.
A new date has not been set.