Emmanuel Macron urges rapid foreign troops withdrawal from Libya

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron holds a news conference at the end of the second day of a European Union leaders meeting in Brussels, Belgium October 22, 2021. Aris Oikonomou/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Russia and Turkey should withdraw their troops from Libya with no delays in order to stabilize the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

“The mercenary withdrawal plan must be implemented. Russia and Turkey must withdraw their mercenaries without delay,” Macron stated during the press conference following the Paris Summit on Libya, RIA Novosti reported.

Macron also noted that there are already some positive signs of stabilization in the country in the run-up to the December 24 elections, and welcomed the recent decision of the Joint Military Commission to withdraw 300 foreign mercenaries.

“Indeed, a first step was taken with yesterday’s announcement by the Military Commission of the departure of 300 mercenaries in upcoming weeks,” Macron added.

The French president also took the opportunity to weigh in on the latest unfolding situation regarding Ukraine and Belarus, informing reporters that he would be holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin “in the coming days”.

Libya ceased to be a united country in 2011 when its leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and assassinated. In March 2021, the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed as part of the international mediation effort to stop the strife between the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army. The GNU will be in charge until the general election.

Presidential and parliamentary elections, both planned for December 24, were one of the main outcomes of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum held under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva last February.

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