Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj is stepping down by the end of October amid expected talks on ending the country's long-running conflict, which has crippled oil exports.

Sarraj, who heads the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, said he is preparing to hand over power to a new government.

"I declare my sincere intention to hand over the tasks of power to the coming executive authority in a time no later than October," he said in a televised address.

"Hopefully, the dialogue committee will complete its work and choose a new presidential council and prime minister."

Touching on the inter-Libyan dialogue held in September in the Moroccan city of Bouznika, where rival parties came together to try and resolve the crisis, Sarraj said: “The latest talks have laid the groundwork for a new process for the unification of state institutions and holding parliamentary and presidential elections."

Political challenges

The internationally recognised GNA, formed in 2015 in the wake of the ousting in 2011 of Muammar Gaddafi, has faced a number of challenges, including attacks by militias loyal to warlord General Khalifa Haftar.

A rival administration, which controls the east-based parliament supported by Haftar’s renegade Libyan National Army, has submitted its resignation after a number of protests over deteriorating living conditions and corruption.

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Haftar has said he is willing to end an eight-month blockade of Libya’s export terminals and oilfields which have reduced crude production from North Africa’s leading exporter to a trickle and led to widespread power cuts and pubic anger against the warring factions.

Germany summit

Meanwhile, the United Nations and Germany have announced an online summit for Libya, scheduled for 5 October.

The meeting will include UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, representatives of the conflicting parties as well as the US, the UK, the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League.

It will also be attended by foreign powers embroiled in the Libyan conflict such as Turkey, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Berlin organised a similar summit in January when parties agreed to stop supplying weapons to the warring factions.