Libya’s main rival political groups are set to meet in the French capital, Paris, on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve disputes and sketch a road map to reunite the nation.
The 2011 ouster and killing of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has left Libya in chaos. Rival political and militia groups have each been attempting to fill the vacuum since Gaddafi’ ouster, which was backed by a NATO military intervention.
United Nations (UN) Special Representative Ghassan Salame has been appointed by the international body to re-unite the North African state.
Salame told the UN Security Council on May 21 that he had given up trying to amend a stalled 2015 peace deal and was instead focusing on a potential agreement to hold elections this year.
A French presidential adviser told reporters in a briefing, “Once we have this road map, we will have outlined the commitments from all sides and the next steps. The terms of Mr. Salame’s mission will be clearer [then].”
Libyan Prime Minster Fayez al-Sarraj, eastern Libya commander Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh, the president of the eastern House of Representatives, and Khaled al-Mishri, the president of the High Council of State, have all been invited to the Paris talks.
Parties to the talks will be encouraged to quickly adopt the necessary arrangements for the staging of elections this year, according to reports.
Some immediate points to be discussed include the unification of the central bank and a commitment to support the creation of a national army. The establishment of an inclusive political national conference within three months will also be discussed.
Almost a year ago, Serraj and Haftar agreed to a conditional ceasefire.
The conference will be attended by some 19 countries and four international organizations, including countries that have influence on the ground, such as Egypt, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
“If everyone agrees, then it will be a step forward. The idea is to put pressure on the four participants, knowing that if their backers tell them to accept this, they won’t have a choice,” said an unnamed European diplomat, as cited by Reuters. “That’s partly true, but there is also an inter-Libyan dynamic to take into consideration.”
Earlier attempts to unite Libyan factions have failed due to unresolved disputes among the country’s competing armed groups.
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