Libya’s political rivals agreed Tuesday in France to set aside their contentions and make way for peace, endorsing the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat, Morocco, in December 2015, as the only political roadmap for the country’s reconstruction, after the six-year long chaos that followed the removal of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed revolution.
Head of UN-backed Presidency Council (PC), Faiez Serraj, and commander of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, reached the agreement at a meeting convened near Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The two men convened that there could only be a political solution to the Libyan crisis, and pledged to work to put the Libyan Political Agreement approved at Skhirat into full operation, reported the Libya Herald on its website.
Part of a ten-point declaration, the two leaders said, “We commit ourselves to a ceasefire” and “we make a solemn commitment to work for the presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible”.
They pointed out in the declaration that the State Council and the HoR would play a role in the political dialogue and that they would make every effort to integrate “combatants” who wish to do so into the regular Libyan armed forces and help others who want to demobilize reintegrate into civilian life.
They also agreed to work on a roadmap that would see a united military combatting terrorism and dealing with illegal migrant flows, and called on the UN Security Council to support their agreement and the new UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé to undertake consultations to that end with the various key Libyan stakeholders.
During the Tuesday encounter between Serraj and Haftar, one of the rare public appearances of the two rivals since entering the Libyan political life, French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the “historic courage” of the two men, saying that “today, the cause for peace in Libya made major progress”. Serraj called it a “great step” towards reconciliation and lasting peace.
The Commander of the Libyan National Army had so far opposed the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), which places him under the authority of the Presidency Council that Haftar accuses of “advancing foreign agendas’.
His LNA controls vast territories of the North African country.