6 March 2014, 09:12

US, Russian FMs expected in Rome for Libya international conference

US, Russian FMs expected in Rome for Libya international conference

The chief diplomats of the United States and Russia are among the participants expected in Rome later on Thursday for an international conference aimed at mobilizing support for Libya's democratic transition.

As well as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, other participants for the one-day talks include the foreign ministers of Germany and France, Libyan leaders and representatives of the United Nations.

Italy is hosting the event as Tripoli's former colonial master.

Ever since the ouster of Moamer Gaddafi following the NATO-backed uprising of 2011, the country's post-revolutionary rulers have struggled to assert their authority on militias and consolidate the rule of law.

Violence has increased in recent months, with armed groups targeting security personnel and foreigners. Several cases of execution-style killings have occurred in the restive city of Benghazi, the hotbed of the anti-Gaddafi uprising.

Amid the unrest, the country's highest political authority - parliament - has extended its mandate by one year, sparking violent nationwide protests. The mandate was originally due to expire in February.

Given the presence of Kerry, Lavrov and other stakeholders in the Ukrainian crisis, the conference risks being overshadowed by developments in Crimea.

Voice of Russia, dpa

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