France bringing top Libyan rivals together in new initiative 

French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting of the two main rival leaders of chaotic Libya, his office said Monday, to try to "contribute to an end to the Libyan crisis."

Published: 24th July 2017 03:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2017 03:05 PM   |  A+A-

France's President Emmanuel Macron (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

By Associated Press

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting of the two main rival leaders of chaotic Libya, his office said Monday, to try to "contribute to an end to the Libyan crisis."

The head of Libya's unity government, Fayez Sarraj, and Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the Egyptian-backed commander of Libya's self-styled national army, are to meet on Tuesday outside Paris, the presidential Elysee Palace said.

Libya, split between rival governments and militias, is a breeding ground for Islamic State militants and people-traffickers preying on migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

The two rivals met in May in the United Arab Emirates, and the hosts said the encounter led to a "significant breakthrough." Libya TV said the men agreed on holding presidential and parliamentary elections next year in the fractured country.

The French statement said that France is "trying to facilitate a political entente" in the presence of the U.N. secretary general's newly appointed special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame.

"With this initiative, France wants to facilitate a political entente" and "mark its support for efforts to build a political compromise, under the auspices of the United Nations," that includes all actors in the fractious country, the president's office said. The challenge, the statement added, is to "build a state capable of responding to the fundamental needs of Libyans" with one regular army.

That is far from the current situation in which rival governments and militias have battled for supremacy since Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 civil war that toppled and killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

A pacified Libya is widely viewed as the key to ridding the country of extremist groups, and arms and people trafficking. France, and Europe, see the return of a stable nation as vital to controlling borders — and cutting off the flow of migrants to Italy and, more broadly, ending its status as a danger zone for Europe.

Fayez is the prime minister of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, and Hifter, a powerful general backed by Egypt who lived for years in the United States, is fighting Islamic militants.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp