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France to reopen embassy in Libya Monday: Macron

'We have a debt towards Libya and the Libyans for a decade of disorder,' said Macron, adding that regional stability would be impossible without peace in Libya.

AFP , Tuesday 23 Mar 2021
Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) talks to the press with Libya's interim leaders Mohamed El-Menfi (C) and Musa al-Koni (L) after their meeting at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris on March 23, 2021 AFP
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France will next week reopen its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, in a sign of a gradual return of stability to the country after years of conflict.

"From Monday our embassy in Tripoli will reopen and our ambassador can return to your territory," he told the visiting chairman of Libya's Presidential Council, Mohammad Menfi in Paris.

The embassy had been officially closed since July 2014.

Libya's new transitional executive emerged from a UN peace process that was launched in November in Tunis, then voted on in Geneva and confirmed by Libya's parliament on March 10.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by civil war since a NATO-backed uprising led to the toppling and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

"I want here to show you all my support and that of France for the new Libyan unified authorities that emerged from the transition process," said Macron.

"We have a debt towards Libya and the Libyans for a decade of disorder," said Macron, adding that regional stability would be impossible without peace in Libya.

France and Macron have been bitterly critical of Turkey's military intervention in Libya.

Macron insisted that a priority was the withdrawal of Turkish troops and pro-Ankara Syrian militias, as well as Russian mercenaries who are reportedly on the ground.

"We must do everything so that foreign forces who are on the ground in Libya leave as soon as possible," said Macron.

"Turkish and Russian fighters, those foreign fighters sent in by them or others, must leave Libya as soon as possible as only the Libyan armed forces are legitimate," he said.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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