France to Stage Libyan Summit as Push for Elections

Libyan factions are likely to be invited in the French capital late this month as France seeks to secure holding of elections in the conflict-torn North African country as a way out of chaos.

The meeting in the French capital is likely to take place on May 29, Reuters reports citing three unnamed European diplomats.

The proposal for the meeting comes following UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame’s May 21 briefing to the UN Security Council during which the former Lebanese minister told the council that plans to amend the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Morocco would not go ahead.

The UN official had advanced an action plan proposing the organization of elections late this year.

Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Libya’s neighbors as well as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council will be attending the meeting, Reuters says citing diplomatic cables sent to the various counties.

The cables seen by the agency state that the objective of the summit is “to get an agreement between Libyan parties under the auspices of the U.N. special representative to quickly adopt the necessary arrangements for the staging of elections as soon as 2018”.

The oil-rich North African country has been embroiled in a political crisis since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, in a NATO-backed revolution. The country has been left with no central government. The situation has offered a fertile land for terrorism and human trafficking.

Faez Serraj, Head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, Khalifa Haftar, Head of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), Aguila Saleh, president of the eastern House of Representatives and Khaled Al-Mishri, president of the High Council of State have been informed of the summit and have been invited.

France has been trying to play a key role in Libya, as it tries to patch up divisions and push for the election.

Last month, French Foreign Minister met in Cairo Egyptian authorities over the situation in Libya. Both parties indicated that they supported the UN-sponsored electoral process.

In July President Emmanuel Macron hosted Serraj and Haftar near Paris for agreement for a conditional cease fire and commitment towards the electoral process.

The agreement has had little effect on the ground with Hatfar threatening to overrun the country if the elections are rigged.

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