Libyan rivals voice joint support for ceasefire, elections

PARIS, France – The two main rivals in conflict-ridden Libya made a joint commitment Tuesday, July 25, to calling a ceasefire and holding elections that French President Emmanuel Macron said would take place in spring 2018.

Macron said Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, the military commander based in the remote east of the vast country, had shown "historic courage" in talks outside Paris.

Sarraj and Haftar "struck an agreement to hold elections next spring", Macron said after hosting the meeting.

A 10-point statement backed by the two leaders said: "We commit to a ceasefire and to refrain from any use of armed force for any purpose that does not strictly constitute counter-terrorism."

It also says the two sides are committed to "building the rule of law" in a country where dozens of armed groups have proliferated in the power vacuum created by the toppling of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011. –