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    Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the U.N.-backed government, left, France's President Emmanuel Macron, center, and General Khalifa Hifter of the Egyptian-backed commander of Libya's self-styled national army shake hands listen to France's President Emmanuel Macron after a declaration at the Chateau of the La Celle-Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, France, Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

    Macron the Mediator: French President Trying to Broker Peace in Libya

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    Libya’s two main rival leaders, Fayez Al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, agreed to call a ceasefire and hold elections next spring after a UN-sponsored meeting in Paris hosted by President Emmanuel Macron. Myriam Benraad, an Arabian-affairs expert at Limerik University, told Sputnik that the elections would hardly bring peace to the war-torn country.

    French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, June 22, 2017
    © AP Photo / Julien Warnand, Pool Photo
    According to media reports, Fayez Al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the UN-backed government of National Accord in Tripoli, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the eastern Libya National Army, also promised to ensure a unified government and elections to put an end to the crisis and bring stability to the country.

    “This will not change the domestic political configuration because the political process in Libya is devoid of any logic, the country is literally exploding, many regions are plunged in chaos and military logic is prevailing,” Myriam Benraad said.

    She added that while Emmanuel Macron is trying to reconsider French foreign policy, this latest initiative [in Libya] is the brainchild of Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, rather than his own. Moreover, it was put forward without any prior consultations with France’s European partners, including Italy.

    “Macron is trying to right the wrong France did to Libya under President Nicolas Sarkozy and make sure that Libya does not become another Syria where Russia and the United States are negotiating the country’s future. I see this as [Marcon’s] attempt to assert himself, but I don’t think this could change the situation in Libya,” Benraad noted.

    “The West realizes full well that it needs to take a more realistic view of things, that General Haftar is a strong leader who is trying to enlist the support of other countries, in addition to Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. He is the only one who restored law and order in Cyrenaique [province] and flush out the jihadists," she said.

    She added that just like Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt, Khalifa Haftar is seen by many in Libya as someone the war-torn country desperately needs now.

    ”Russia, just like Egypt, the Emirates, Algeria and Tunisia, believes that General Haftar helped stabilize the situation in Libya. Russia rejects the idea of a regime change in Libya, it condemned the Western meddling in the region after the 2003 war in Iraq and is supporting diplomatic efforts to stabilize tyhe situation in the country.

    ”Russia’s position is way more pragmatic than that of the West, whose aspirations are out of touch with reality,” Myriam Benraad concluded.

    Libya has been in a state of civil war since its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

    The UN-backed Government of National Accord operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli. The eastern part of the country is governed by its parliament, with headquarters in the city of Tobruk. The parliament is backed by the Libyan National Army headed by General Haftar.

    Related:

    Macron: Libya Elections May Take Place in Spring 2018
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    mediation, ceasefire, talks, elections, Limerik University, Libyan parliament, Libyan National Army (LNA), Myriam Benraad, Fayez al-Sarraj, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Emmanuel Macron, Khalifa Haftar, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France, Libya
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