U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged Libya to stick to its plan to hold parliamentary elections on June 25 and defended the United Nations’ goal of organizing a meeting to promote reconciliation among the North African country’s competing factions. “The secretary-general continues to follow closely the situation in Libya and stresses the importance of the peaceful and timely holding of elections on 25 June,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. “He also commends UNSMIL’s (U.N. Support Mission in Libya) work in the areas of good offices and facilitation of dialogue, which it carries out with impartiality and openness to all national parties concerned,” he added.
Libya has been in a state of near constant turmoil for three years with successive prime ministers struggling for legitimacy, various armed groups paralyzing governance and a loss of vital oil export revenue due to a port blockade by armed rebels.
The U.N. announcement to convene a “dialogue” meeting in Libya was met with criticism from the Tripoli government, which complained that the world body failed to consult with Libyan partners before announcing it.