The United Nations envoy to Libya says its reconstituted army could be decentralized, an idea aimed at easing the political gridlock surrounding an internationally-backed unity government.

Martin Kobler on Wednesday confirmed reports that the formation of military councils representing Libya's western, eastern and southern regions is being discussed.

He spoke to The Associated Press after holding talks with various Libyan figures in Cairo aimed at resolving the rivalry between the U.N.-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east.

A key point of contention has been the leadership of the army and the future of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the head of armed forces based in the east, who is deeply unpopular in western Libya. Kobler says his requests for a meeting with Hifter have been denied.