French President Emmanuel Macron stands between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj (L), and General Khalifa Haftar (R), commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), who shake hands after talks over a political deal to help end Libya’s crisis in La Cell
CAIRO – 28 May 2018: A delegation from the Libyan High Council of State, headed by Muslim Brotherhood member Khaled al-Mishri, will attend Tuesday’s UN-sponsored international conference in Paris on Libya, Libyan Observer reported Sunday.
The meeting that aims to end the Libyan crisis will be attended by Libya’s four main rivals including Mishri, General Commander of Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and speaker of the eastern House of Representatives Aguila Saleh.
Representatives of 19 countries including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, UAE, and Italy will also attend the meeting.
The meeting hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron aims to discuss plans to “implement an inclusive political road map in order to end the crisis that has affected the country and the region for several years," according to a statement by the Elysee Palace.
HCS’s newly-elected head, Mishri, along with other HCS members had earlier expressed objection to the participation of military figures in the meeting, in a clear reference to Haftar, saying that military personnel are not political figures.
Abdel Rahman al-Shater, an HCS member, said that the conference serves France’s aim to gain control of Libya through its agents existing in the country.
Earlier in May, the Libyan Popular National Movement issued a statement asserting that several radical Islamist political figures, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, attended the “Dakar meetings” that took place in the Senegalese capital.
The statement added that they were discussing the country’s future and political situation in an unacceptable way, and that “All of these figures are just using religion again to control the country.”
Libyan strategic expert Abdullah al-Athamna thinks that France’s upcoming initiative will not meet the wishes of the Libyan people.
France aims, through its initiative, to dominate the situation in Libya, Athamna who is a professor of International Relations told Sputnik, voicing concerns that the initiative may deepen the crisis Libya is facing.
Athamna expected that the initiative will not change anything in the situation, adding that some countries object to the French attempts of domination as it is the United Nations’ role to end the crisis in Libya.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received on Sunday a phone call from his French counterpart to discuss the Libyan crisis, ahead of the international conference on Libya on Tuesday.
In July 2017, Macron chaired talks between Serraj and Haftar. At those talks, the two Libyans committed to a conditional ceasefire.
Macron wants France to play a bigger role in coaxing Libya's factions to end the turmoil that has allowed Islamist militants to gain a foothold and migrant smugglers to flourish in the absence of a strong central government.
Following a tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria in Algiers, Algeria on Libya earlier in May, the three countries renewed their rejection of all forms of foreign interference in Libya's internal affairs.
Algerian, Egyptian and Tunisian foreign ministers during their summit to discuss Libya's crisis - Egyptian Foreign Ministry's official Twitter account.
"Foreign interference undermines the country's political process, prolongs the crisis and threatens security and stability in Libya and neighboring countries," the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a statement in support of the political settlement in Libya.
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the 2011 civil war that resulted in the overthrow of longstanding ruler Muammar Gaddafi by rebel fighters backed by NATO airstrikes.