TRIPOLI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Libya's new parliament elected Akila Saleh Issa as the speaker of the House of Representatives in Tobruk in its first formal session on Monday.
The meeting was held in the eastern city of Tobruk as it was unsafe for lawmakers to gather in Tripoli or Bengazi because of the heavy fightings in both major cities.
In a heavily-guarded hotel in Tobruk, Issa received 77 votes from 158 lawmakers who attended the session.
"We hope all Libyans stand together to put our country's best interests first," said Justice Minister Saleh al-Marghani, standing in for Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, who was attending a summit in the United States.
World powers congratulated the new parliament and expressed hope that lawmakers would be able to restore stability to Libya and press ahead with democratic reform.
"The governments of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States commend the members of the Council of Representatives for beginning their work today," said a joint statement.
"The convening of the council is an important step toward putting Libya's democratic transition back on track and helping restore law and order to the country," it said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who met with al-Thinni in Washington, said it was a "critical time" for Libya.
"Libya's challenges can really only be solved by Libyans themselves, but we are committed to stand by them as they engage in the difficult work of doing so," Kerry said.
He said U.S. diplomats would return to Tripoli "as soon as the security situation allows."
The UN mission in Libya hopes that the newly elected parliament can make efforts to end surging violence and promote political process, said Vannina Maestracci, assistant spokesperson for UN chief, at a regular briefing at the UN headquarters.
"The mission hopes that the elected council will lead the efforts to safeguard the security, safety, unity and sovereignty of Libya, and help to create an environment that fosters an inclusive political dialogue," said Maestracci.
With more than 200 people killed, Libya is now facing the worst violence since the Muammar Gaddafi regime fell in 2011. For over three weeks, rival militias have been fighting around Tripoli international airport, attempting to take control of the air hub.
In Benghazi, the Operation Dignity, launched by General Khalifa Haftar against Islamist militants, is still going on, where warplanes are involved in attacking the militant strongholds.
Meanwhile, the country's lifeline oil production has dropped to 450,000 barrels per day from 500,000 bpd in just one week.
As fighting continues to rage on, foreigners have been fleeing Libya in mass numbers, with the exodus gathering pace at the weekend, when Britain and Greece sent ships to evacuate their nationals.
China has also evacuated 878 Chinese nationals from Libya since clashes between rival militias escalated in July.
TRIPOLI, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Libya's newly-elected parliament held its first session on Monday afternoon in the eastern city of Tobruk amid fierce fighting in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The UN mission in Libya hopes that the newly elected parliament can lead efforts to end surging violence and promote political process, a UN spokesperson said Monday.
"The mission hopes that the elected council will lead the efforts to safeguard the security, safety, unity and sovereignty of Libya, and help to create an environment that fosters an inclusive political dialogue," said Vannina Maestracci, assistant spokesperson for UN chief at a regular briefing at the UN headquarters.Full Story
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The governments of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the United States on Monday applauded Libya's new parliament for holding its first session amid continuing conflicts between rival militias.
Members of the Libyan Council of Representatives met in the eastern city of Tobruk, as clashes were continuing in the capital city of Tripoli as well as in the eastern city of Benghazi.Full Story