President Emmanuel Macron wants to meet Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar to push for a ceasefire and resume peace talks, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Macron last week called for a ceasefire in the month-long battle for Libya’s capital Tripoli after meeting UN-recognized Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.
Tripoli is home to the recognized administration but some European countries such as France have also supported eastern military commander Haftar as a way to fight militants in a country in chaos since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
A day after meeting Macron, the Tripoli-based government asked 40 foreign firms including French oil major Total to renew their licenses or have their operations suspended.
“The situation in Libya is extremely worrying because the proposed UN roadmap to both parties – and which almost reached a positive conclusion – ... has today failed on the one hand because of Field Marshal Haftar’s initiative and Serraj’s non-initiative,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers.
“It’s for this reason that the president wanted to meet one and the other to support the UN initiative.”
The French presidency said there was no confirmed meeting planned at this stage.