US Vice President, Kamala Harris plans to attend next week’s Libyan conference being held in Paris to support the upcoming 24 December elections, according to senior administration officials.
“We want to show our support for the Libyan people as they move toward national elections, and as they focus on the importance of the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries,” one of the officials said.
The Libya-focused summit, organised by the United Nations, Germany, and Italy in Paris for 12 November is expected to gather some 20 regional and international heads of state.
Wrangling over elections planned for late December has threatened to derail Libya’s efforts to end a decade of chaos and violence. A wider peace push has put a transitional unity government into office until that vote.
“The US Vice President will attend and deliver a speech at the fourth annual Paris Peace Forum on November 11. She will also participate in the Paris Conference on Libya on November 12,” Harris’ spokesperson, Symone Sanders last month.
During her trip to Paris, Harris will also meet with French President, Emmanuel Macron.
“They will discuss the importance of the transatlantic relationship to global peace and security and underscore the importance of our partnership on global challenges from COVID-19 and the climate crisis, to issues affecting the Sahel and the Indo-Pacific,” Sanders added.
French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves le Drian said the conference on Libya aims to provide a final international push so that elections would be held as scheduled, and endorse the departure of foreign forces.
In his speech during the Libya Stabilisation Conference in Tripoli in October, the French FM said, “the summit, organised with the United Nations, Germany, and Italy in Paris for 12 November, will gather regional and international heads of state. It will provide the last international impetus needed in support of the elections at the end of the year and endorse the Libyan plan for the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries and support its implementation, to put an end to foreign interference.”
It is hoped the international conference will help the rival Libyan parties find common ground, given the recent wrangling which has cast doubts over the viability of December’s presidential elections.
The Conference comes ahead of planned December Presidential and Parliamentary elections, as part of the political roadmap agreed to in the United Nations-led peace process.