Libya's al-Serraj, Haftar commit to ceasefire at talks in France

26 Juillet, 2017, 14:09 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • To encourage hiring French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist government is negotiating with trade unions and employers groups on liberal reforms to the country's rigid labour laws

President Emmanuel Macron is hosting a meeting of the two main rival leaders of chaotic Libya, trying to play peacemaker in a country where the stakes are high for both Europe and Africa.

Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarrajand East Lebanon's military leader, Khalifa Haftar, are committed to establishing a cease-fire regime and making elections at the earliest opportunity, in a draft statement released today by the Elysée Palace in Paris.

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"We commit to a ceasefire and to refrain from any use of armed force for any goal that does not strictly constitute counter-terrorism, in compliance with the Libyan political agreement and global treaties, and in order to protect Libya's territory and sovereignty and we strongly condemn all that threatens the stability of the territory", their joint statement said. "The Mediterranean [region] needs this peace".

On paper, the agreement represents a step towards a political settlement to end years of violence - but previous peace deals since the 2011 fall of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi have not been honoured, and the absence of a specific date for proposed new elections will be seen as a diplomatic disappointment. But Haftar has refused to accept the government's legitimacy. Macron will be present, as well as the U.N.'s newly appointed special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame.

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