French president wants to meet Haftar


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.

Macron last week called for a ceasefire in the month-long battle for Libya’s capital Tripoli after meeting UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

Tripoli is home to the recognised administration but some European countries including France have supported Haftar as a way to fight militants in a country in chaos since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

A day after meeting Macron, the internationally recognised government asked 40 foreign firms including French oil major Total to renew licences or have operations suspended.

“The situation in Libya is worrying because the proposed UN roadmap to both parties – and which almost reached a positive conclusion –  today failed on 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 the president wanted to meet one and the other to support the UN initiative.”

The French presidency said there was no meeting presently planned.