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Libyan government calls for cease-fire, elections in March

Fighters loyal to the United Nations-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord pose for a photo after the area was taken over by GNA-aligned forces following clashes with rival troops loyal to rebel leader Khalifa Haftar in Tarhuna on June 5. The GNA has called for a cease-fire Friday. Photo courtesy of Stringer/EPA-EFE
Fighters loyal to the United Nations-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord pose for a photo after the area was taken over by GNA-aligned forces following clashes with rival troops loyal to rebel leader Khalifa Haftar in Tarhuna on June 5. The GNA has called for a cease-fire Friday. Photo courtesy of Stringer/EPA-EFE

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Libya's United Nations-recognized government called for a cease-fire Friday, telling its military to stop all fighting while calling for parliamentary elections in March.

The Government of National Accord, based out of Tripoli, said the cease-fire required that rival Khalifa Haftar leave Sirte and al-Jufra and secure the areas.

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Aguila Saleh, the speaker of pro-Khalifa Haftar Libyan Parliament, said all parties should immediately participate in the cease-fire, making Sirte a temporary seat for a new presidential seat. Saleh called for police forces from various regions to provide security there.

Stephanie Williams, the United Nations' acting special representative of the secretary-general in Libya issued a statement Friday welcoming the cease-fire effort.

"[Williams] warmly welcomes the points of agreement in the declarations issued today by President of the Presidency Council Fayez Al-Serraj and Speaker of the House of Representative Aguila Saleh -- which demonstrate the courage which Libya is in urgent need of during these trying times," the statement said.

Williams called for both sides to work together to resume oil production in Libya, saying it was a sign of "unacceptable stubbornness" not to come up with an agreement.

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"[Williams] calls for all parties to rise to this historic occasion and shoulder their full responsibilities before the Libyan people," the statement said.

Libya, once one of the world's top oil producers, has been bogged down in violence since 2011 after longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi died.

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