* Envoy says Britain recognises parliament's legitimacy
* Parliament moved to eastern Libya after Tripoli fell
* Armed groups controlling Tripoli set up rival assembly
By Feras Bosalum and Ahmed Elumami
BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 2 A British envoy visited
Libya's parliament at its new seat in the eastern town of Tobruk
on Tuesday in a show of support against a rival assembly set up
by armed groups who seized the capital Tripoli last month.
Senior officials and the elected House of Representatives
moved to the remote east of Libya when Tripoli fell to an
alliance of armed factions from the western city of Misrata in
August after a long battle with rival groups.
The fighting and lawlessness also prompted most countries,
including Britain, to close their diplomatic missions in Libya.
The conflict is part of a wider struggle among former rebels
who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but have now turned
their weapons on each other in their fight to take power and
control the country's vast oil reserves.
"We recognise the legitimacy of the Libyan parliament,"
Britain's Libya Special Envoy Jonathan Powell said in a
televised news conference from Tobruk.
Western powers like Britain worry Libya will turn into a
failed state that could flood Europe with migrants and becomes a
safe haven for militant Islamists.
The House of Representatives was elected in June in a vote
marked by a very low turnout. The assembly's previous name, the
General National Congress, was scrapped as many Libyans
associated with political infighting and chaos.
Now the alliance controlling Tripoli says that, together
with a group of former lawmakers, reinstated the GNC.
Powell said there would be no military intervention as
demanded by some Libyans tired of fighting between armed groups.
Libya's conflicts could be solved diplomatically, he said,
Addressing the same news conference, First Deputy Speaker
Mohammed Ali Shuaib said Libya expected the international
community to help it build up army and state institutions.
This has so far failed as former rebels have refused to
On Sunday, the central government released a statement
admitting it had lost its grip on many levers of power. The
victory of Misrata forces in Tripoli has not yet affected oil
production, but traders say ownership of the oil might be
subject to legal challenges if those forces take control of the
central bank, where crude revenues are booked.
The volatile situation in Tripoli has been exacerbated by
separate clashes in the eastern port city of Benghazi where
Khalifa Haftar, a renegade general from the Libyan army, has
launched war on Islamist militants.
Haftar's units, allied to regular special forces, have lost
several army camps to the Islamists who have been trying for
days to seize Benghazi's airport and air base.
(Additional reporting and writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by