September 15, 2017 / 7:43 AM / 3 years ago

Britain backs Libyan plans to work towards elections next year

Britain's State Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference at Lancaster house in London, Britain, September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - British foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday he believed that Libya’s plans to work towards elections in 2018 were probably “the right timescale”.

In July, rival leaders pledged in Paris to work towards elections in 2018 and a conditional ceasefire. U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame said constitutional and electoral laws would have to be written to ensure any vote brought lasting change.

“Would it be premature to hold the elections within a year? I happen to think that could be about the right timescale,” Johnson told a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“It is very important however, that you don’t do it too fast and that you get the political groundwork done first,” he added. “There has to be a constitution, there has to be an accepted basis for those elections to take place.”

Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison

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