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Libya 'pushing ahead' to hold country’s presidential elections in 2018

Sarraj met with French Foreign Minister Le Drian in the Libyan capital Tripoli [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 December, 2017

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Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said Tripoli is moving forward with preparations to hold the country’s presidential elections in 2018.
The head of Libya’s UN-backed government says it is pushing ahead with preparations to hold the country’s presidential elections in 2018, though no exact date has been set yet.

Thursday’s statement by the Tripoli-based government says Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. They discussed several topics, including a UN roadmap meant to pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections and a vote on a new constitution.

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed Muammar Gaddafi. The country is now split between rival governments and a myriad of militias.

From Tripoli, Le Drian is to head to the eastern city of Benghazi to meet with Libya’s military strongman Khalifa Hafter, who is a rival of Sarraj’s government.

Last month, Le Drian called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss slave trading in Libya following video footage showing Africans being auctioned off in the war-torn country.

"France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament on Wednesday.

"We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it."

Libya's internationally-recognised government said it will investigate the trading in the country, following the release of video footage appearing to show migrants being "auctioned off" in markets.

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