France threatens proposing sanctions against Libya

France says it will propose sanctions against Libya next week, as fears mount that Islamic State is taking advantage of political instability to establish itself in the northern African country.

"I don't exclude that we can threaten sanctions. In any case that is what I will propose to my foreign minister colleagues on Monday in Brussels," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in an interview with French broadcaster iTele, recorded in Cairo during his visit to Egypt.

France had said in February that it would support levying sanctions against "those knowingly hinder the political process."

A source in the French Foreign Ministry said that there are small numbers of radicals in both political camps in Libya who are trying to derail consensus.

In the interview, Ayrault said it wasn't time for military action, but that the threat of Islamic State in Libya was real.

"We cannot continue with this situation, which poses a danger to Libyans and to the entire region; which threatens Tunisia and threatens Europe."

Any action in Libya, Ayrault said, depends on the creation of a national unity government that is recognized by the international community.

The United Nations has been trying to broker an agreement between the internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk and a rival Islamist-leaning administration that controls the capital Tripoli.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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