Libya’s rival governments discuss unifying 2021 budget

CountryMiddle east

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" Tripoli-based Foreign Minister Muhammed Tahir Siyala 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 U.N.-supported government 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 Muhammed Tahir Siyala. Libya is split between a U.N.-supported government in Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east. The two sides are backed by an array of local militias, as well as regional and foreign powers. 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 more...