French President Emmanuel Macron stands between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj (L), and General Khalifa Heftar (R), commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), shaking hands after talks over a political deal to help end Libya’s crisis in La Cell
CAIRO – 29 May 2018: An adviser of the head of Libya’s U.N.-recognized government based in Tripoli said Tuesday that Libya’s four rival leaders agreed on running presidential and parliamentary elections on December 10.
On his Twitter account, Taher el-Sonni, senior political adviser to Libya’s Prime Minister, Fayez Sarraj, said that the four rivals agreed to finalize a constitutional base for the elections by September 16, 2018.
This came in a meeting hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, with the aim of ending the Libyan crisis, in the presence of Libya’s four main rivals including, head of the Libyan High Council of State Khaled Mishri, General Commander of Libyan National Army Khalifa Heftar, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and speaker of the eastern House of Representatives Aguila Saleh.
"Positive that all Libya parties present at Paris conference agreed [to a] timeline leading to elections in December," Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said from inside the meeting, according to Reuters. "Let us hope, and help them in keeping this important commitment,” Muscat added.
Sarraj lauded the French ambitions to achieve stability in Libya, calling on all parties to assist Libya’s democratic process in order for it to succeed. Sarraj also commended all parties for reaching an agreement, “despite [of it] being late.”
“I called for stopping conflicts in all parts of the country. It is enough with the bloodshed,” Sarraj stated, adding that there is a need to stop the military escalation in the city of Derna as it threatens civilians’ lives, and to secure ways to provide civilians with essential needs and services. He also voiced rejection to all forms of terrorism and extremism.
Earlier in May, Heftar, stated that Derna will be declared terrorism-free soon, calling on soldiers to purge the city from terrorism, while keeping in consideration the safety of civilians. Derna is controlled by a coalition of Islamist militants and rebels known as the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC).
Sarraj affirmed that agreements between Libyan rivals will never succeed unless negative intervention of some states in the Libyan affairs stops. He also called on the international community to take serious measures against those who try to obstruct the democratic path in Libya.
French President Emmanuel Macron hosts a meeting at the Elysee Palace that aims to end the Libyan crisis in the presence of Libya’s four main rivals, including head of the Libyan High Council of State Khaled Mishri, General Commander of Libyan National Army Khalifa Heftar, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and speaker of the eastern House of Representatives Aguila Saleh – Twitter/Taher Al-Sonni
French president Macron described the meeting as historical, saying that all parties possess a sense of responsibility toward Libya, highlighting the need for commitment and speed to reach a political settlement in Libya.
Macron said it is the first time for these leaders to accept to cooperate and approve a joint declaration.
Denying attempts of negative intervention, Ghassan Salame, head of the U.N. mission in Libya, affirmed that foreign parties do not intend to violate the right of the Libyan parties to achieve consensus. "If the whole world agreed on what should be done in Libya, while Libyans did not agree on it, a progress would never be achieved," Salame explained.
The Tuesday meeting in Paris aimed 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 earlier this month.
Representatives of 20 countries, including regional and western powers, in addition to Libya’s neighbor countries, including Egypt, attended the meeting.
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.