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France to host Libya conference ahead of elections

Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian attends Second Berlin Conference on Libya, in Berlin, Germany on June 23, 2021 [Thomas Imo/photothek.de/Pool - Anadolu Agency]
Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian attends Second Berlin Conference on Libya, in Berlin, Germany on June 23, 2021 [Thomas Imo/photothek.de/Pool - Anadolu Agency]

France will host an international conference on Libya in November as the country prepares for elections at the end of December, Reuters reported Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said yesterday.

Co-hosted with Germany and Italy, Le Drian said the conference would take place on 12 November and was aimed at ensuring the electoral calendar would remain in place and to discuss the departure of foreign fighters from the North African oil producer.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country's stark political divisions yielded two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya headed by renegade General Khalifa Haftar and another in Tripoli; the internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The situation escalated in 2019 when Haftar launched a military campaign to capture the capital Tripoli.

The GNA declared victory a year later.

This year Libya has witnessed a political breakthrough under UN auspices. On 16 March, an elected transitional authority made up of a unity government and a presidential council, assumed their duties to lead the country through a transitional phase to parliamentary and presidential elections slated for 24 December.

OPINION: Is France honest in embracing Libya's new government?

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