French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed leaders and ambassadors to Paris at an international conference on Friday aimed at ensuring that Libya adheres to the December election process and changes a new page in its history.
The richest country in North Africa has been embroiled in a civil war since its former leader Muammar Gaddafi rioted in 2011, with bloodshed in Libyan troops and troops, as well as local authorities.
The presidential vote on December 24, as well as the parliamentary elections, is the basis for the United Nations system for promoting peace, but the calendar has been forced as tensions resume between rival camps.
There are also fears that various groups may be aware of the consequences of the elections, which could lead to a change in the country that has become a major transit point for refugees and refugees who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
About 30 countries and organizations will be in Paris, including Libya’s neighbors, and countries divided by the war.
The key players who will be present at the summit include US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is on a trip to France to improve relations, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, one of Paris’s close allies in the Middle East.
“Elections must take place. There is a strong threat in Libya to move forward. “Stability of the country is at stake,” said the French president, who asked not to be named.
Earlier this week, Libya unveiled the electoral roll, with growing speculation over the demands of President Khalifa Haftar and Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, both of whom are deeply divided.
Preparations were not made yet – presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 24.
In early October, parliament adjourned the elections until January, despite international and UN rule demanding that they be held simultaneously.
The president of France has told reporters at a press conference ahead of time that the actors are ready to take any action to advance their cause. “Obviously they are waiting for the ambush and trying to disrupt the elections,” he said.
A final word could set the stage for future sanctions, officials said.
Foreign troops abroad?
Elysee officials have been in pain to present the conference as a global effort, led by France, Germany, Italy, the UN and Libya.
But it represents the most recent expulsion of international meetings by Macron, who is expected to call for re-election in April and whose country will take over the European Union presidency in January.
In May 2018, the year he was in office, Macron also summoned senior Libyan leaders to a conference in Paris where they agreed to hold elections that year.
Since then, France has been accused of favoring Haftar, a former CIA treasurer, in the UN-sponsored war against the National Accord (GNA) Government in Tripoli. Libyan National Army (LNA) troops station east of Haftar launched a military campaign last year to capture western Libya, including Tripoli – the base of GNA.
Turkey backed the GNA, while the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt returned to Haftar.
The rival factions agreed to end the war in October following a UN agreement.
Although French weapons were found at a pro-Haftar-operated base in 2019, Paris has denied the allegations.
Macron wants the summit to approve the withdrawal of foreign troops and Libyan forces, the French president has said.
At first Paris wanted the Turkish and Russian leaders to come, but Ankara and Moscow have sent ambassadors, perhaps to show some difficulty in withdrawing foreign troops.
Mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group are based on the LNA, which was aided by the war with Moscow, along with the UAE and Egypt.
Ambassadors say Turkey could not take action before leaving the east.
The Libyan military says on Thursday it agreed to repatriate 300 foreign troops to its territory after a request from France.
“The first batch of 300 troops and foreign troops” should be returned “at the request of France,” Haftar’s military spokesman said.
The UN estimates that 20,000 mercenaries and foreign fighters are being sent to Libya, including from the Russian group Wagner, Chad, Sudan and Syria.
A UN report released in October revealed that all parties, “including third countries, foreign fighters and financiers, have violated international humanitarian law … and some have even committed war crimes”.
Notable does not exist
Libya will be represented by Mohamed al-Menfi, head of the revolutionary presidential council that will oversee international elections before elections, and Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah.
Local media reported that Dbeibah was accompanied by Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush despite being suspended by the presidency over a dispute between the Prime Minister and the presidency.
One of the most notable absence is Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was summoned by Paris but not far off after making Macron’s criticism of his “political and military” country.
The argument led to the Elysee uttering a statement of remorse, which he said “complained” about the misunderstanding that resulted from the statement.
Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra received the response as “politely” and assured that Algerian officials would attend the meeting even though he was not Tebboune himself.