On Friday, French President, Emmanuel Macron said that the Paris conference reaffirmed his country’s support for the political track in Libya, stressing the need for elections to be held on time without delay.
Macron said that the presence of Libya’s neighbouring countries during the conference is “important,” adding that the international community showed unity over the Libyan issue.
He called on the Libyan authorities to find an inclusive path for the participation of all parties in the upcoming elections that will take place on December 24th.
“The Libyan transition must be completed. The elections must take place in the best possible conditions,” said Macron, adding that the parties involved have committed to recognise the results, whatever they are.
On his part, the Head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Mnifi, said that the Paris conference is a pivotal push for Libya’s upcoming elections.
Al-Mnifi stressed that the exit of the first group of mercenaries from Libya is an important success of the Joint Military Commission (JMC). He added that the outcomes of the Paris conference meet the aspirations of Libyans to hold simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections.
Macron described the JMC’s declaration as “ambitious” and said the next six weeks will be “decisive.”
“It is just a beginning,” Macron said. “Turkey must also withdraw its mercenaries and armed forces without delay, as their presence is threatening the stability and security of the country and of the whole region.”
At least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries arrived in Libya over the years from countries including, Syria, Turkey, Sudan and Chad, according to a United Nations (UN) estimate, amid a tussle for influence.
“We know that many challenges remain. The health system is weakened. Food insecurity is growing. The most vulnerable parts of the civilian population, particularly the internally displaced and refugees are the most exposed to humanitarian violations and violations of human rights,” Macron said.
Libya has gone from crisis to conflict to civil war since the removal of Moammar Gaddafi in 2011 in a NATO-backed uprising – with Islamist extremists attempting to exploit the turmoil and migrants embarking on often-fatal treks to Europe to flee it.