Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj and the divided country's eastern commander Khalifa Haftar are set to agree to a conditional ceasefire and to work towards elections in the Paris talks.

The UN- backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli, Fayez al Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) keeps a tight grip on the east of the country holds a  meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE on May 2, 2017.
The UN- backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli, Fayez al Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) keeps a tight grip on the east of the country holds a meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE on May 2, 2017.

The two principal rivals in conflict-ridden Libya, who are to hold French-brokered talks on Tuesday near Paris, are committed to a ceasefire and elections "as soon as possible," said a draft statement which was released ahead of the talks.

The statement says Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, the rival military commander who controls the east of the conflict-ridden country, are also committed to holding presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible.

"We are committed to a ceasefire" and we make the solemn commitment to work for the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible," said the presidency, quoting the rival leaders.

French President Emmanuel Macron will mediate talks and persuade both sides to at least outline a roadmap for an end to a conflict that has plunged the oil-rich country into chaos.

French officials at the talks stressed that the document was one of several working versions being circulated ahead of the meeting.

The 10-point version also says that only a political solution can end the crisis and it backs the Skhirat Agreement, agreed in 2015 with UN backing, as the basis for a political process in Libya.

The two men are holding talks for the first time since a rare meeting in Abu Dhabi in May.

Political rivalry

The oil-producing country has been mired in chaos and fighting since the 2011 uprising that toppled the country's former strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Western governments are pushing a UN-backed political agreement to unify the country under which Serraj's government was installed.

However Haftar, who this month declared victory over rival armed groups in the battle for Libya's second city Benghazi, has refused to accept the government's legitimacy.

Journalist Mustafa Fetouri spoke to TRT World about the talks in Paris.

Instability and insecurity

The turmoil in Libya has allowed Daesh militants and people-traffickers to thrive as the North African country is the main point of embarkation for refugees attempting the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean to Europe.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told newspaper Le Monde in June that Libya was "a priority" for Macron and said there was "a security risk because of the trafficking of all kinds, including humans" from Libya.

Monday's statement from the Elysee Palace said that "It is necessary for the control of Libyan territory and its borders, to fight terrorist groups and arms and migrant traffickers, but also with a view to a return to a stable institutional life."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies