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Careful Optimism in Libyan Peace Talks

Libya’s warring factions reached a significant milestone Wednesday in the Moroccan peace talks, agreeing on a mechanism by which several critical law enforcement, judicial and bureaucratic positions are to be appointed. Representatives of the Tripoli-based, UN-recognized Government of National Accord, and those of the eastern government which is supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, will soon enter the next phase of actually filling such positions as attorney general, Supreme Court chief, Election Commission president and others, before proceeding to general elections. The two sides have been engaged in a decade of brutal civil war following the 2011 demise of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Earlier this year, the GNA managed to defend Tripoli and repel an offensive led by the eastern government’s armed forces, known as the Libyan National Army. The LNA’s last stronghold, the northern city of Sirte, which is the gateway to the country’s richest oil region, seemed to be destined for a bloody battle in August, before both sides agreed to the last-ditch international overtures for peace negotiations.