German FM says Libya's elections should go forward on Dec 24

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –

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Germany, which has played a leading role in diplomacy to end Libya's civil war, called Wednesday for elections to go ahead on December 24 despite a new political crisis.

"The international community expects Libyan officials in Tripoli and the rest of the country to work for presidential and legislative elections to take place as scheduled on December 24," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said as he co-chaired a high-level meeting on Libya at the United Nations.

"We need to step up international pressure and support those who are preparing the elections," he said.

Maas also called for renewed efforts to remove foreign mercenaries from Libya.

Libya's lower house of parliament, meeting in the eastern city of Tobruk, on Tuesday passed a vote of no-confidence in the unity government that took over in a UN-led peace process that has managed to ease tensions after a decade of war.

The upper house rejected the resolution but the showdown raised renewed questions on whether the country, deeply divided by region, can hold elections set by the peace process.