France, Germany, Egypt to push for sanctions against anyone who disrupt Libya

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France, Germany, Egypt to push for sanctions against anyone who disrupt Libya

PARIS, November 12 - World powers will push for sanctions against anyone who disrupts Libya's electoral process and political transition, according to the conclusions of a conference they are holding later on Friday in Paris.

The meeting will include the leaders of France, Libya, Germany, and Egypt, as well as the U.S. vice president, in order to cement world backing for the planned vote on December 24 and efforts to remove foreign forces.

The elections are considered a key moment in a U.N.-backed peace process to end a decade of violent chaos that has drawn in regional powers and undermined Mediterranean stability since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.

The votes for a new president and parliament are still in doubt with six weeks to go amid disputes between rival eastern and western Libyan factions and political bodies over the rules underlying the electoral schedule and who can run.

The wrangling threatens to unravel the wider peace process, which includes efforts to unify long-divided state institutions and to pull out foreign mercenaries who remain endangered along frontlines despite a ceasefire.

Draft conference conclusions affirmed that individuals or entities, inside or outside of Libya, who might attempt to obstruct, undermine, manipulate or falsify the electoral process and the political transition could face sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council has previously agreed sanctions against Libyan political figures for their role in the conflict. Russia has only sent lower- level representatives to Paris, raising questions over its backing of any positions agreed there.

The document seen by Reuters takes note of the Libyan electoral commission setting Dec. 24 as the starting date for an electoral process that would extend to a later second-round presidential vote on the same day as a parliamentary election.

The foreign powers want an inclusive election, a stance that would likely allow all potential candidates including disagreed figures seen as unacceptable in large swathes of Libya as well as serving officials to run.

A French presidential official told reporters at a briefing that some actors were ready to seize on ambiguities to advance their own interests.

The official said that they were waiting to ambush and try to derail the electoral process.

Paris initially aims to have the Turkish and Russian heads of state attending, but Ankara joined Moscow in sending lower level representatives, showing the complications with removing foreign forces.

Mercenaries from Russia's Wagner Group are enclosed along with the eastern-based Libyan National Army LNA which was supported in the war by Moscow, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The former Tripoli government had support from Turkish regular forces in Libya as advisers, and from allied Syrian fighters, the Turkish government said.

Diplomats have said Turkey was unlikely to act before there were departures from the east.