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France Seeks a Libya Breakthrough during Haftar-Sarraj Elysee Meeting | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Government of National Accord (GNA) leader Fayez al-Sarraj, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar meet in May, AFP

Paris- French President Emanuel Macron has shown that French diplomacy will be adopting a new approach in which it is prepared to take on a direct role in mediating for a Libya settlement.

For over six years, the Libya row and crisis has affected European countries in terms of immigration, an upsurge in terrorism, growing trafficking activity. Not only that but regional stability and security for north African countries and the coast have been threatened.

On that note, Paris is preparing to host an exceptional meeting on Tuesday, likely to be held at the Elysee Palace. The meeting will bring together President Macron, Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) leader Fayez al-Sarraj, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The new head of the United Nations support mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salame, the Arab League representatives, European Union delegates will also attend the meeting.

So far, Paris had stuck to general diplomatic rhetoric concerning Libya, and arranging for an intervening meeting did not appear in any of government’s agendas.

A number of Paris-based sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that France seeks a “breakthrough” in the Libya file, hoping that the upcoming Sarraj-Haftar will hold better prospects for a settlement than the last two meetings.

The warring leaders had met in Abu Dhabi, UAE last May.

At the Abu Dhabi meeting, the two agreed on a number of issues, notably fresh parliamentary and presidential elections, a truce, the need to fight terrorism, the development a united army and an end to the UN-imposed weapons.

It would be surprising, if the Paris encounter takes place, if they do not repeat these, especially the elections call now that it has become a key policy of Sarraj.

France recognizes the Presidency Council and insists the Libyan Political Agreement is the sole basis for resolving the Libyan crisis, but it has also provided intelligence support to the Haftar-led LNA in its fight against extremists in the east of the country.