Both countries see stability in Libya as crucial to stability in the Mediterranean and a solution to the migrant crisis in Europe.
Libyans participate in elections for the National Congress, 2012. Photo Credit: Flickr/United Nations Development Programme
A spokesperson for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi indicated on Sunday that both Egypt and France want to see new elections held in Libya, as the war-torn country moves into a period of relative stability. The conflict had engulfed the North African nation after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, who had held power in Libya for decades prior. The United Nations had previously indicated its belief that elections would help stabilize the country, and a French diplomatic visit to Egypt affirmed the UN’s position.
The call for faster elections comes as both countries hope that a stable Libya would lead to better security across the Mediterranean and a regulation of the flow of migrants entering Europe. As of the last month, street fighting in Libyan cities has measurably decreased, and the government has established a firmer hold on strategic locations throughout the country. Commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are backed by Egypt, is a likely contender in upcoming elections and recently expelled Islamic militants from Benghazi.
Prior to any election, Libya would have to approve a new constitution and new electoral policies, as well as establish security over the country’s major polling locations. The United Nations has attempted to broker peace deals between the different factions, but none have been successful so far. However, Libyans have been increasingly registering to vote, which the Egyptian and French governments take as an indication for a desired faster resolution to the conflict.