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Macron wants to meet Libya’s Haftar to push ceasefire

President of France, Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj (C) in Paris, France on 28 August 2017 [Mustafa Yalçın/Anadolu Agency]

President Emmanuel Macron wants to meet Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar to push a ceasefire and resume peace talks, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

Macron last week called for a ceasefire in the month-long battle for Libya’s capital Tripoli after meeting UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

Tripoli is home to the recognised administration but some European countries such as France have also supported eastern military commander Haftar as a way to fight militants in a country in chaos since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

A day after meeting Macron, the internationally recognised government asked 40 foreign firms including French oil major Total to renew their licences or have their operations suspended.

“The situation in Libya is extremely worrying because the proposed UN roadmap to both parties – and which almost reached a positive conclusion – … has today failed on the one hand because of Field Marshal Haftar’s initiative and Serraj’s non-initiative,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers.

READ: NATO calls on conflicting parties in Libya to return to dialogue

“It’s for this reason that the president wanted to meet one and the other to support the UN initiative.”

The French presidency said there was no meeting planned at this stage.

General Khalifa Haftar taking over Libya - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

General Khalifa Haftar taking over Libya – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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