The conference comes less than six weeks before Libyans are scheduled to cast their ballots in the first round of the presidential elections on Dec. 24. Parliamentary elections are to take place nearly two months later, along with a second round of the presidential vote.
France is hosting an international conference on Libya on Friday as the North African country heads into long-awaited elections next month, a vote that regional and world powers hope will pull the oil-rich nation out of its decade-old chaos, AP reports.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and several world leaders are taking part in the Paris conference, and are expected to push for transparent, credible elections. They will also urge the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya, as stated in last year’s U.N.-brokered cease-fire that ended fighting between rival factions in the country.
Libya has been engulfed in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The oil-rich country was for years split between rival governments — one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other in the eastern part of the country. Each side is backed by different foreign powers and militias.
Friday’s conference is co-chaired by France, Germany, Italy, Libya, and the United Nations, and attended by international and regional high-level officials.
The participants are expected to push for an “indisputable and irreversible” election process, a joint commitment to fight trafficking of people and weapons through Libya. They also are expected to advocate for tangible efforts withdraw mercenaries and foreign troops, according to French President Emmanuel Macron’s office.
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