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UN-Backed Libya PM to Meet Eastern Country’s Strongman in France
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj will hold talks near the French capital city of Paris on Tuesday with Khalifa Haftar, the powerful military commander based in the country's east, the French presidency said.
In further details, the presidency stated on Monday that French President Emmanuel Macron will host the meeting.
"France intends, through this initiative, to facilitate a political agreement" between the two rivals as the newly appointed UN envoy for Libya, Ghassam Salame, takes office, the statement said.
Tuesday's talks, which were first reported by France's Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday, would be the second between Sarraj and Haftar in the space of three months after they met in Abu Dhabi in May.
Sarraj this month laid out a new political roadmap for his violence-wracked country, including the scheduling of presidential and parliamentary elections in March 2018.
Political rivalry and fighting between militias have hampered Libya's recovery from the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising that toppled and longtime dictator Muammar Gadhafi, who was killed in the aftermath.
Sarraj's Government of National Accord has been struggling to assert its authority since it began work in Tripoli in March 2016. Haftar's rival administration based in the remote east has refused to recognize it.
Western intelligence services fear that Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the Takfiri ‘ISIS/ISIL' group] terrorists are capitalizing on the chaos to set up bases in Libya as they are chased from their former strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
Libya has also become the main springboard for migrants seeking to reach the European Union by sailing to Italy in often flimsy and overloaded boats.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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