Officials from Libya’s rival governments met Tuesday in the strategic eastern oil town of Brega for talks aimed at unifying the national budget, officials said, another step forward in efforts to end the yearslong conflict in the oil-rich country. Finance minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli, Faraj Bumatari, and his counterpart from the eastern Libya-based administration, Muraja Ghaith, attended the meeting. Also attending was Tripoli-based Foreign Minister Mohammed Tahir Siyala. A statement by the Tripoli-based Finance Ministry said the sides would work on a final draft for the 2021 national budget in the coming days. The draft would be presented to a transitional government that will be established to lead the country to presidential and parliamentary elections late this year. Siyala said in video comments posted by the ministry’s official account that a joint team would carry out the agreed-on budget arrangements according to estimated resources this year. He did not elaborate. The UN support mission in Libya, or UNSMIL, called the meeting an “encouraging and much-needed step” and urged both sides to prepare the budget in “a transparent manner.” “The unification and rationalization of ...read more...