By Peter Kenny
GENEVA (AA) - The first round of political talks through the Libya peace process started Wednesday in Geneva, despite the parliament of Libya’s UN-recognized government saying Monday that it would not be participating in the negotiations for now.
"I can confirm that the Libyan talks have begun at the UN Geneva Office today. Negotiations are ongoing," Rheal Leblanc, a spokesman for the UN Geneva Office, told Anadolu Agency.
Leblanc said he did not have information about the delegations participating in the negotiations and how many there were.
The UN said in a statement on Tuesday that Ghassan Salame, the special representative of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), would host the meeting at the Palais des Nations under the auspices of the UN.
Tamim Baiou, Libya's permanent representative at the UN Geneva office, told Anadolu Agency that the talks at the UN in Geneva were under the UN umbrella, so he did not have detailed information.
The political talks follow the completion of a second round of the UN-sponsored military talks on Libya between the warring sides that ended in Geneva on Sunday.
"The two parties agreed to present the draft agreement to their respective leaderships for further consultations and to meet again next month to resume the discussions," said UNSMIL.
The Libyan Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks were in a 5+5 format with five representatives of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and five from the forces loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.
The JMC is one of the three tracks, which UNSMIL is working on, in addition to the economic and political tracks, in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2510 (2020) and it calls upon the two parties to reach a lasting cease-fire agreement.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.
Libya's legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.