After receiving Khalifa Haftar in Paris on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron praised the ‘pivotal role’ played by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in fighting terrorism and illegal migration in the region.
According to political analyst Kamel el-Meraash, Macron’s statement is a direct response to claims made by Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) that France had reduced its support for the LNA.
In televised interviews, el-Meraash said that France has become one of the most important countries in the European Union (EU) following Britain’s departure from the bloc and is now the only EU country with the power to impose a veto on the UN Security Council’s resolutions. In addition, France has strong international relations, particularly in Africa given its vital interests in the region.
By contrast to other countries who are involved in Libya, el-Meraash said, France approaches the Libyan file pragmatically and with a clear policy line that allows it to act without conflicting strategies.
The analyst also said that Italy’s position on Libya has recently converged towards France and Germany, suggesting that there may be greater unity amongst EU states on how to approach the conflict in Libya.