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Sarraj and Haftar to meet in Paris for talks

Khalifa Haftar (R), Libyan army Field Marshall and Fayez Al-Sarraj (L), Libya’s Presidency Council head [File photo]
Khalifa Haftar (R), Libyan army Field Marshall and Fayez Al-Sarraj (L), Libya’s Presidency Council head [File photo]

Head of the Libyan Presidency Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, will meet in Paris tomorrow at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The French government has maintained connections with both sides by recognising the Presidency Council and maintaining that the Libyan Political Agreement is the solution for resolving the Libyan crisis, and by also providing intelligence support to the Libyan National Army in its fight against extremists in the east of the country.

Macron appointed former French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, as foreign minister in May. Le Drian has favoured a stronger backing for Haftar.

The Paris meeting this week is expected to be attended by Ghassan Salamé who will officially take over as UN special envoy to Libya at the beginning of August.

Read: UN Council approves former Lebanese minister as new Libya envoy

The rival Libyan leaders last met in May in the UAE in a breakthrough encounter which has since been dismissed as a non-starter by many observers. They agreed on a number of issues including fresh parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018, a truce between the fighting in the country and a development of a united army.

It is likely the Paris meeting will include the same talking points particularly in calling for early elections in 2018.

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