France`s decision to receive Libya`s main political and military leaders on May 29 is both bold and risky. If Paris succeeds, it will be unprecedented and signal the willingness of rival leaders to compromise. But the proposed draft agreement, which has been circulated so far, is problematic and, if not properly amended, could inadvertently undermine the Consensus-led United Nations-led peacebuilding efforts that are currently under way. A deal could create a brief moment of excitement, but accusations are likely to follow if the signatories – who face opposition from some of their allies at home – fail to keep their promises. The French organisers should avoid imposing an overly rigid framework and consider not, for the time being, seeking a signed agreement. Instead, they could use this demonstration to push Libyan leaders to compromise and a divided international community to greater convergence through a broader policy statement on political, security and economic measures that would contribute to the stabilization and unification of the divided country. Al-Meshri said the transfer of the oil ports was a violation of the Paris Agreement and several UN Security Council resolutions that «underscore the need for the Government of National Unity to have sole effective control of the National Oil Corporation.» Some observers hailed Mischri`s election as a step forward for the political impasse, as it will be easier for them to reach a political agreement with the House of Representatives without Swehli dictating the pace of the talks. [fn] Crisis Group interviews, Western diplomats, Rome, Tunis and Brussels, April 2018.Hide the footnote In his first public remarks after the vote, Mischri said he wanted to reopen «direct and fast» negotiations with parliament. It invited its president, Aghela Saleh, to a meeting. [fn] Mischri`s first statements to the Council of State were broadcast on Libyan television. See Mischris` first remarks before the Council of State, Video, YouTube, April 8, 2018.Hide the footnote Similarly, in early April, the Justice and Construction Party went so far as to make connections with Haftar.

Party chairman Mohamed Sawan – who had previously declared the Libyan National Army illegitimate – hailed its «martyrs» killed in the fight against the jihadists. [fn] Crisis Group telephone interview, Libyan academic near the army, Benghazi, 6 years old. April 2018.Hide the footnote In fact, and paradoxically, Haftar`s insecurity of health could have negative and even dangerous consequences on peacemaking. Haftar is a polarizing figure who has often opposed peace negotiations and whose forces are accused of serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings. [fn]»Libya: Mass Extra-Judicial Execution,» Human Rights Watch, November 29, 2017.Hide the footnote When he leaves the scene, it may be all the more difficult for his successors to convince a divided and recalcitrant East to reach a national political agreement. Official Libyan National Army media downplayed his illness and called his hospitalization in Paris a routine examination. [fn] Initially, Libyan National Army spokesman Ahmed Mismari denied news of Haftar`s hospitalization. .

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