An international conference to garner support for Libya’s stability will be held in October, the head of the country’s presidency council said on Thursday, warning that it faces “serious challenges” that could undermine planned December elections.
Addressing the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders in New York, Mohammed al-Menfi said the conference would aim to ensure “unified, consistent” international support and restore a sense of Libyan leadership and ownership over the country’s future.
“We are faced with serious challenges and quick-paced developments, which compel us – out of responsibility – to think of more realistic and practical options to avoid an impasse in the political process, which could in turn, undermine the looming elections and bring us back to square one,” he said.
As a way to end Libya’s decade-long crisis, the national elections was planned for December 24, but have been enmeshed in bitter arguments over legitimacy that may unravel a months-long peace process.
“Libya is at a critical juncture,” Menfi said.
The Dec. 24 election was mandated by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, a U.N.-selected assembly that set a roadmap for peace in Libya through installing a unity government and holding a nationwide vote.
On Monday in New York, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters that France, Germany and Italy would co-host an international conference on Libya on November 12 to ensure the electoral calendar would remain in place.