Haftar, Al-Serraj to meet French President in Paris for new shape of Libya, report says
The commander of eastern forces, Khalifa Haftar, and the Prime Minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, Fayez Al-Serraj, will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on July 25, al-Hayat newspaper reported, according to Reuters.
Citing unidentified sources, Saudi-owned al-Hayat said the meeting sought to build on diplomatic efforts by the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations and neighboring Egypt, Reuters indicated on Thursday.
Macron said on July 13 there would be concrete diplomatic initiatives on resolving the conflict soon, Reuters explained.
The meeting comes at a time when Haftar has gained ground militarily with Egyptian and United Arab Emirates support, and Western states say Haftar must be part of any solution to the conflict in the oil-producing country, Reuters explained.
Paris sees its close ties with the leaders of the UAE and Egypt as giving it some leeway in getting all sides on board, especially with the United States showing little interest in getting involved, according to Reuters.
Reuters cited diplomats as saying that a rough plan could see Paris working to refine the U.N. accord by setting up a presidential council that would include Haftar, Al-Serraj and a third actor from the east with Haftar heading up the Libyan National Army.
This would then be rubber-stamped by the U.N. Security Council and pave the way for national elections, Reuters explained.
Officials in Haftar’s Libyan National Army and Al-Serraj’s government did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation. France’s foreign ministry and Macron’s office said they had no information on the subject, Reuters added.
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