The Latest: France's Macron hails 'courage' of Libyan rivals
Jul. 25, 2017
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Libya's two main political rivals in talks at a meeting outside Paris (all times local):
French President Emmanuel Macron, who hosted Libya's two main rival leaders, hailed what he said was their courage after they reached an accord that includes a commitment to a cease-fire and presidential and parliamentary elections.
Macron said after meetings that ended Tuesday at a chateau outside Paris that "the courage that is yours today by being here and by agreeing to this joint declaration is historic."
He said their courage was all about taking risks in a country that has spiraled into chaos since the overthrow and killing of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
Macron has made it a priority of his presidency to play an active role in helping to bring stability to Libya, where the stakes are high for both Europe and Africa.
The two main rival leaders of chaotic Libya have committed to a cease-fire at a meeting at French chateau, reserving armed force "strictly" for counter-terrorism.
Fayez Serraj, prime minister of the U.N.-backed unity government, and Gen. Khalifa Hifter, Egyptian-backed commander of Libya's self-styled national army, signed off on Tuesday on a plan designed to help push Libya from lawlessness to stability.
According to a text released by the French presidency Tuesday, the men committed to working toward holding presidential and parliamentary elections "as soon as possible."
They also agreed to work toward a roadmap to secure Libya against terrorism and trafficking.
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.
The series of meetings on Tuesday afternoon at a chateau west of Paris will bring together Fayez Serraj, prime minister of the U.N.-backed government, and Gen. Khalifa Hifter, Egyptian-backed commander of Libya's self-styled national army. Macron will be present, as well as the U.N.'s newly appointed special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame.
French officials hope the encounters will facilitate a political entente and end with a joint declaration stating, among other things, that there can be no military solution to the crisis that is boosting Islamic militants and traffickers preying on migrants, as well as instability across the region.