Rival Libyan leaders meet for first time since May

Italy brings together Libya rivals on conference sidelines

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, whose weak but internationally recognised government is based in the country's West, met Khalifa Haftar who rules most of the East.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced that Federica Mogherini will be the head of the delegation to be present at the conference. He then took the final stance not to attend the conference after being informed of the invitation representatives from Qatar and extremist groups.

Prior to the start of the conference on Monday, the Head of the UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame, told Reuters that he will be discussing June 2019 as a date for the elections in Libya, after Paris-Brokered December 10 has been left out.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has taken part in the International Conference on Libya, hosted by the Italian city of Palermo. The UN was hoping for such a goal, but political and security chaos has thwarted this mission.

Acknowledging the chaotic political situation since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was deposed in 2011, the United Nations on Thursday conceded elections will not be viable before at least the spring of 2019.

Prior to the Palermo meeting getting underway, the LNA submitted demands through a civil envoy to the gatherers. It called for the fair distribution of oil resources on all Libyan regions, as well as devising a mechanism to monitor frozen Libyan assets in foreign accounts.

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Meanwhile, LIA funds are still locked in four main bank accounts, managed by Euroclear, the bank belonging to the International Central Securities Depository (ICSD) in Brussels, one of the two international depositories of shares and bonds (the other one being Clearstream in Luxemburg).

In an interview published Monday in Italian daily La Stampa, Conte portrayed the gathering as an opportunity to "sustain the creation and deployment of regular armed forces and security forces".

Asharq Al-Awsat was witness to criticism directed by Libyan representative towards Italy for its poor organization of the conference.

The presence of Libya's eastern strongman Haftar to the Conference for Libya here in Palermo has been uncertain until the very last moment.

An Italian official said that during Monday's talks on the margins of the conference, Haftar told Sarraj that his rival did not need to resign ahead of the hoped-for elections.

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