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French FM in Libya to boost Paris-brokered accord

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French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the headquarters of the prime minister's office in Tripoli Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Libya on Monday as part of an effort to bolster a peace deal between rival faction leaders signed in Paris in July.


"This is a signal of the commitment of France, of President [Emmanuel] Macron's wish, to contribute to resolving this crisis," Le Drian told reporters in Tripoli.

Libya has been plunged into chaos by fighting between rival militias since the overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Le Drian said Monday's visit was a follow-up to the 25 July accord signed in Paris by the head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, and military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

"Our objective is the stabilisation of Libya in the interest of Libyans themselves but also in the interest of neighbouring countries, of which we form part in a way," he said at a joint news conference with Libyan counterpart Mohamed al-Taher Siala.

France's aim is "a unified Libya with functioning institutions" that would stave off "the terrorist threat" and clear the way for reconciliation, he added.

German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Britain's Boris Johnson both visited Libya during the summer.

After his Tripoli visit, Le Drian was to go to Misrata and the eastern cities of Benghazi and Tobruk, as they did.