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Libya's new parliament holds first session outside Tripoli

Libya's new parliament holds first session outside Tripoli
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Libya’s newly elected parliament has held its first formal session.

Heavy fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi meant it was too dangerous to be there, so the session took place in a heavily guarded hotel in the coastal city of Tobruk,

Turnout for the elections in June was extremely low with Libyans disillusioned with their political parties. Several polling stations were also closed for security reasons.

Islamist militias, who helped oust Colonel Gadaffi three years ago, and still have their weapons, refuse to recognise the new government which is backed by the West as well as several north African regimes.

Libya’s Justice minister, Salah Al-Marghani, said solving the crisis in Libya was their priority: “The transitional government has a vision for how we can urgently solve the situation, at the core of which is to put in place all necessary solutions to preserve security, using all means possible that will produce a balanced situation in Libya.”

The past two weeks of fighting between rival militias in Libya have been the worst since 2011. More than 200 people have been killed in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

Western governments have been pulling their diplomats out of the country. The Greek navy evacuated its embassy staff and other foreign nationals in an overnight operation.