The talks come after clashes broke out in Tripoli between rival groups, raising fears of escalating violence in the conflict-hit country.

Libya has for years been split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different groups and foreign governments.
Libya has for years been split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different groups and foreign governments. (AP)

Libyan officials have returned to Egypt for a third round of talks on constitutional amendments for elections as the nation again finds itself at a political impasse with two rival administrations claiming legitimacy.

The talks in Egyptian capital Cairo on Sunday come on the heels of clashes between rival militias that caused residents of the Libyan capital of Tripoli to panic and revived nightmares of previous bouts of fighting.

Lawmakers from Libya’s east-based parliament and the High Council of State, an advisory body from western Libya, began the UN-brokered negotiations.

That decision came amid concerted international pressure on the two chambers to put their disputes aside and agree on the election’s legal basis.

The UN special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said talks in Cairo will continue till June 19 with the aim of establishing a constitutional framework “required to take the country to national elections as soon as possible”.

“After eleven long years of division, dysfunction, conflict, chaos and polarisation, the Libyan people are exhausted", she told attendees at the opening session.

"You have a real opportunity, indeed a solemn responsibility, to give them hope, to provide a pathway towards elections within a firm constitutional framework”.

READ MORE: Clashes in Libya threaten civilians, stability — UN

Decade of chaos

In the previous two rounds of talks, the parties came to an initial consensus on 137 articles of the constitutional draft, including on rights and freedoms. Discussions will continue on some disputed articles on legislative and judicial authority.

The dispute over the constitutional framework of the election was among major challenges that caused planned national elections to fail in December, a major blow to international efforts to end decade of chaos in Libya.

The failure to hold the vote has opened a new chapter in its long-running political impasse, with rival governments now claiming power after tentative steps toward unity in the past year.

The country's western region is ruled by an array of forces allied with the Tripoli-based UN-backed government of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah.

East and south Libya are controlled by warlord Khalifa Haftar, who is allied with a rival government led by parliament-appointed Prime Minister Fathi Bashaga.

The oil-rich country has been wrecked by conflict since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The country has for years been split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different groups and foreign governments.

READ MORE: Bashaga to run rival administration from Libya's Sirte after Tripoli rout

Source: TRTWorld and agencies