Italy opposes military intervention in Libya: FM

ALGIERS (AA) – Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Monday that the solution to Libya's current crisis could not be a military one, stressing his country's support for efforts by Algeria and the UN to bring the country's warring factions to the negotiating table.

Gentiloni's statements came during a joint press conference held with his Algerian counterpart, Ramtane Lamamra, after his arrival to Algiers for a one-day visit during which he is expected to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional issues, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Italy's top diplomat urged Libyan factions that had boycotted last week's UN-backed talks in Geneva to reconsider their position and participate with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis.

On Thursday, participants in the UN-sponsored dialogue agreed to move the next round of talks to Libya if proper logistical and security conditions were met.

The agreement came after a second round of peace talks was held in Geneva with the participation of some of Libya's rival factions.

Key representatives from the Tripoli-based government, however, refused to attend the talks, demanding that dialogue be held in Libya.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011.

Over the course of the last three years, rival militias have frequently clashed in the country's main cities, including capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

Libya's stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each of which has its own institutions.

Vying for legislative authority are the newly-elected House of Representatives, which convenes in the eastern city of Tobruk, and the General National Congress, which – even though its mandate ended last year – continues to convene in Tripoli.

The two assemblies support two different governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.

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