Can France help Libya avoid returning to war?

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Libya may well be looking towards acquiring a key European ally as it faces uncertain times ahead, with France standing out as a likely candidate.

According to a Libyan news website, Oil Minister of Libya’s Government of National Unity, Mohamed Aoun, held talks on November 25th with the French Ambassador in Libya, Mustafa Maharaj, and his accompanying delegation.

According to Libyaupdate.com, during the meeting, the minister discussed the development of the oil and gas sector, while “underlining the importance of involving international companies,” according to a statement from the Libyan Oil Ministry.

Later, the French diplomat stated via his Twitter account that he discussed with Aoun the prospects for French-Libyan cooperation, “particularly in vocational training and renewable energies”, indicating areas where a common ground could be found.

Libya has a lot of problems it needs to iron out, following a ceasefire between the two warring factions signed in October 2020. Chief among them is who to run the country as presidential elections hold enormous power and determines which direction the country moves.

Yet a date for such elections can’t be formed.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell recently said the situation in Libya is discouraging in light of no indication of any possible agreement on elections any time soon.

“The Union and its international partners can make a difference by proactively supporting mediation efforts, and this is what we intend to do,” the EU foreign policy chief said before the European Parliament.


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