- Title: French foreign minister in Libya to push peace deal
- Date: 4th September 2017
- Summary: TRIPOLI, LIBYA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF LIBYAN PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL HEADQUARTERS FRENCH MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN ARRIVING AT PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE LIBYAN FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMED SIALA WELCOMING LE DRIAN SIALA AND LE DRIAN WALKING INTO CONFERENCE ROOM LIBYAN FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, SAYING: "Our objective is the stabilisation of Libya in the interest of the Libyans themselves, but also in the interest of the neighbouring countries of which we are in some way part of." FRENCH FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, SAYING: "This stabilisation involves the application of the Celle-Saint-Cloud (France) declaration." LIBYAN GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL ACCORD SLOGAN (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, SAYING: "It (the Celle-Saint-Cloud declaration) sets out the amendment of the Skhirat agreement and the holding of elections." CAMERAMAN (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, SAYING: "A united Libya, equipped with functioning institutions, is the condition to avoid the terrorist threat in the long term and to allow for reconciliation." PHOTOGRAPHER LE DRIAN LEAVING CONFERENCE ROOM
- Embargoed: 18th September 2017 13:44
- Keywords: Libya France Le Drian Elections Europe peace
- Location: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- City: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016X6K093
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: **SOUND AS INCOMING**
France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met rival political leaders in Libya on Monday (September 4) and offered support for a deal aimed at stabilising the strifetorn North African country.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Seraj and the divided nation's eastern commander Khalifa Haftar signed an agreement in Paris in July committing them to a conditional ceasefire and to work towards elections in 2018. The deal did not include other key factions.
Western governments, worried about Islamist militants and smugglers thriving in Libya's chaos, are pushing a broader U.N.-backed deal to unify Libya and end the instability that has weakened the country since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
In Tripoli, Le Drian met Seraj and planned to hold talks with Abdulrahman Swehli, a politician connected to some of Haftar's rivals who heads a parliamentary council in the capital, Libyan officials said.
Le Drian was also to visit Misrata, Swehli's home city and a base of opposition to Haftar, before heading to Benghazi to meet Haftar and to Tobruk to meet the head of an eastern-based parliament aligned with him.
The French minister's visit is in line with President Emmanuel Macron's push for a deeper French role in bringing Libyan factions together in the hope of countering militant violence and easing Europe's migrant crisis.
He said the Paris deal was meant to support the U.N.-backed accord for a government of national unity. Le Drian met U.N. special envoy Ghassan Salame on Sunday.
Past Western attempts to broker agreements have often fallen victim to political infighting among rival factions and armed brigades vying for power in the OPEC oil producer.
Seraj's government has struggled to impose control and its presidential council is divided. Haftar has refused to accept its legitimacy. He has been gaining ground, backed by allies Egypt and United Arab Emirates.
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