By SAMY MAGDY
ABOARD GEO BARENTS (AP) — The U.N. says forces from Libya’s rival sides have reached an initial agreement on the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries from the North African nation. The withdrawal is seen as a key precondition in unifying the country ahead of landmark elections due in December. The U.N. mission says the joint military commission, with five representatives from each side, inked a “gradual and balanced” withdrawal deal on Friday, at the end of three-day, U.N.-facilitated talks in Geneva. Oil-rich Libya has for years been split between rival governments in the capital, Tripoli, and in the eastern part of the country. Each side is backed by different foreign powers and militia groups.