26 July 2017

Libya: Factions Agree to Cease-fire Deal

Photo: RFI
Libyan forces

Both sides in the Libyan conflict agreed to the terms of a cease-fire agreement Tuesday during talks mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Libya's prime minister, Fayez al-Serraj, and his rival, eastern commander Khalifa Haftar met with Macron.

"We commit to a cease-fire and to refrain from any use of armed force for any purpose that does not strictly constitute counter-terrorism," the two leaders said in a joint statement following talks.

Along with the conditional cease-fire, the document commits both sides to holding an election “as soon as possible.”

"The cause of peace has made a lot of progress today," Macronsaid. "The Mediterranean [region] needs this peace."

The two sides previously held talks in Abu Dhabi in May, after going more than a-year-and-a-half without speaking, in hopes of ending the violence seen in Libya since former leader Moammar Gadhafi was deposed in 2011.

Up until this point, Haftar has rejected the authority of the U.N.-backed government. His forces have gained ground in the east of the country, with the support of Egypt and United Arab Emirates.

Western governments are pushing a U.N.-backed political agreement to unify the country under which Serraj's Tripoli-based government w

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