France to hold meeting fo Libya political parties to push for 2018 elections

General Khalifa Hifter of the Egyptian-backed commander of Libya’s self-styled national army, left, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, center, and Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the U.N.-backed government walk into the meeting room at the Chateau of the La Celle-Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, France, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. 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. (Photo: AP)

France said it is going to hold an international meeting in Paris with Libyan political leaders to push for an agreement on holding UN-backed elections this year, according to three diplomats aware of the initiative reported by Reuters.

According to a diplomatic cable sent to several countries, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Italy, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Libya’s neighbors, Macron would convene the meeting “very soon” in the French capital.

Our objective is to get an agreement between Libyan parties under the auspices of the UN special representative to quickly adopt the necessary arrangements for the staging of elections as soon as 2018,” the cable reads.

It added that the agreement was put together with Salame and after consultation with the Libyan parties. Prime Minster Fayez al-Sarraj, eastern Libya commander Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh, president of the eastern House of Representatives and Khaled Al-Mishri, president of the High Council of State, have all been invited.

Two diplomats said the meeting might take place as early as May 29.

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