Rival Libyan leaders ‘commit to truce, poll’

PARIS: The two main rivals in conflict-ridden Libya are committed to a ceasefire and holding elections “as soon as possible”, according to a draft statement released ahead of French-brokered talks on Tuesday.
The communique says Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, the military commander who controls the remote east of the vast country, accept that only a political solution can end the crisis.
Diplomatic sources said the two sides had agreed on a joint statement but that the text being circulated was not the final version.
The 10-point version seen by this agency says the ceasefire would not apply to counter-terrorism efforts.
It also says the two sides are committed to developing the rule of law.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has made Libya one of his foreign policy priorities, has organised the meeting and while officials admit they have modest expectations, they say it sends a “strong signal”.
French officials are aiming to persuade the two sides to agree on a roadmap to end a conflict that has plunged the oil-rich country into chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The newly appointed UN envoy for Libya, Ghassam Salame, was to chair the talks, but Macron was to make a statement at the end. It is the second time that Sarraj and Haftar have met in the space of three months after they held talks in Abu Dhabi in May. That meeting made little progress. — AFP