United Nations (United States) (AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron will organize an international conference on Libya on November 12, a month before elections which aim to end a decade of civil war but which are shaping up to be increasingly uncertain.
“In view of the December elections, France will organize, around the President of the Republic, an international conference on Libya on November 12”, declared the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a conference of press on the sidelines of the UN General. Assembly.
Le Drian and his German and Italian counterparts Heiko Maas and Luigi Di Maio will also co-chair a meeting on Libya on Wednesday in New York.
France is calling for the elections to be held on time and for the “departure of foreign forces and mercenaries,” Le Drian said.
The ratification earlier this month of an electoral law clearly tailor-made for Khalifa Haftar, the military strongman who controls eastern Libya, raised tensions three months before the crucial election.
The law was not put to a vote and was signed by the head of the parliament sitting in the eastern city of Tobruk, Aguila Saleh, an ally of Haftar.
The head of the Tripoli-based High Council of State (HCS), which acts as a senate, Khalid al-Mishri, rejected the legislation, which he said was passed “without a legal vote or consensus”.
The HCS on Monday proposed a postponement of at least a year of the presidential election, for lack of consensus on the electoral law.
Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangouch also did not rule out postponing the elections at the end of August.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has expressed support for Haftar, is pushing for legislative and presidential elections to be held as scheduled on December 24.
The United States also described the poll as “the best opportunity it has had in a decade to end the conflict.”
In December, the UN estimated that there were some 20,000 mercenaries and foreign fighters in Libya, including Russians from the private security company Wagner, Chadians, Sudanese and Syrians. Several hundred Turkish soldiers are present in Libya as part of a bilateral agreement with the previous government in Tripoli.
© 2021 AFP