By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 2 April 2017:
French ambassador Brigitte Curmi has had talks with Khalifa Hafter on the crisis in Libya. The two met on Wednesday at the field marshal’s Rajmah headquarters, near Benghazi’s Benina airbase. It followed a meeting in Tobruk the previous day with House of Representatives’ president Ageela Saleh.
Ambassador Curmi is reported to have told Hafter that as far as France is concerned there could be no military solution to the crisis, only a political one. That meant reconciliation.
France would be willing to help in that process, the Libya Herald has been told.
It is the first time that the two have met, indeed it is thought to be the first time that any French ambassador has met Hafter.
France has taken the view for the past six months that while it fully supports the Libyan Political Agreement and the Presidency Council, Hafter has a role to play and should be brought into the government’s framework.
French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault spelled this out in a TV interview last October. At the time, Italy was one of the few Western powers also supporting the idea. Since then, others, including the British and Americans, have also come out in support of the plan.
Meanwhile, it is reported today that the Italian and Dutch ambassadors will meet Ageela Saleh in the next couple of days and possible also Hafter.