France orders Libya’s strongman Haftar to respect UN-led peace process, Le Drian says

French Foreign Minister Le Drian and Dignity Operation commander in east Libya Khalifa Haftar meeting in east . Libya on December 21, 2017. (Photo: Internet)

The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has told the Libyan rival factions in Tripoli and Benghazi that there was no alternative to UN talks to stabilise the country and prepare for elections in 2018.

Reuters reported Le Drian as saying that eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar and Tripoli Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj had both told him they were committed to the elections.

“I said there is no alternative (to the U.N. plan) for you,” Le Drian told reporters after meeting in Benghazi with Haftar, who declared the UN process obsolete on the weekend.

Le Drian arrived Thursday morning in Libya. First he met with Al-Serraj in Tripoli and then flew to Benina airport in Benghazi to meet with Haftar.

“You need to put yourself at the service of your country,” Le Drian said after meeting Haftar, adding that he was relatively optimistic of what will happen next in Libya.

He added that Haftar told him that all Libyans need “confidence measures” in order to put their trust in the upcoming elections.

Haftar and Al-Sirraj signed in Paris last July an agreement sponsored by France’s President Emmanuel Macron. The agreement said both sides should work towards a ceasefire across Libya and prepare for elections in .

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