Algeria ready to mediate in Libya ceasefire talks: president to paper

FILE PHOTO: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune arrives for the opening of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

PARIS (Reuters) - Algeria is ready to act as a mediator in any Libya ceasefire talks, its president Abdelmadjid Tebboune told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview published on Thursday.

“If we are given a mandate by the U.N. Security Council, we are capable of quickly bringing peace to Libya since Algeria is a sincere and credible mediator, and one that is accepted by all Libyan tribes,” he told Le Figaro, in an interview aimed at reaching Algeria’s large expatriate population in France.

Nearly nine years after rebel fighters backed by NATO air strikes overthrew late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya still has no nationally recognized central authority.

On Wednesday, its internationally acknowledged leader dashed hopes of a quick revival of U.N. ceasefire negotiations after his side withdrew from them as eastern forces shelled the capital.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier; editing by John Stonestreet