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Rival Libyan leaders to meet in Paris as Europeans push for peace

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Rival Libyan leaders to meet in Paris as Europeans push for peace

BESTPIX – Eastern Libya Continues Fight Against Gaddafi Forces
BESTPIX – Eastern Libya Continues Fight Against Gaddafi Forces
Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty

France will host Libya’s four main rival leaders today for an international conference that aims to end the four-year civil war.

The leaders—which notably include UN-backed Fayez al-Sarraj and military strongman Khalifa Haftar—have agreed to sign a declaration in support of holding future elections by the end of next year. However, the crucial militias which control Tripoli have rejected the initiative and will be absent from today’s talks.

Since the country descended into chaos following the ousting of dictator Muammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya has become a major source of Islamic radicalism. Today the country is the fourth-largest provider of foreign jihadist fighters in the world.

Which factions end up in power will likely shape Libya’s future as a breeding ground for militant Islamists. Under al-Sarraj, Libya would likely devote substantial resources to combatting militant groups. However, if a factional leader were to emerge dominant, internal divisions could potentially lead to a more complex anti-terrorist policy. Regardless, without the support of Tripoli’s militias, a peaceful resolution in the near future is unlikely.

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Photo: Robert Ward

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