Libya’s rival leaders make ‘breakthrough’ at talks in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Ministry said a “significant breakthrough” was made on Wednesdaty at talks between Libya’s rival leaders.

The head of Libya’s UN-backed government, Fayez Serraj, and powerful army commander Khalifa Haftar met Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, for the first time in more than a year in a bid to resolve the country’s long-standing strife.

The UAE Foreign Ministry said in a statement the meeting was an “important step on the road to reaching a tangible progress in the political process in Libya.”

The ministry provided no details on the nature on the “breakthrough.”

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

In March 2016, the UN-backed government led by Serraj took over in the capital Tripoli amid international hopes it would re-establish stability in the oil-rich country.

But this government has since been unable to gain recognition from the elected parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which supports Haftar.

Serraj met Haftar in January 2016 in the eastern Libyan city of al-Marj.

Earlier this year, Egyptian mediators reportedly failed to get both rivals in the same room for direct talks in Cairo.