EU: New unity government needed to oust Islamic State from Libya

Libya needs a government of national unity to have the best chance of defeating the Islamic State extremist group, the European Union's top diplomat said Friday

The radical Islamist group has made inroads amid a political vacuum in the north African country, where two rival governments are locked in efforts to agree to a joint cabinet, after signing a UN-brokered peace deal in December.

"The best condition to fight against Daesh in Libya is going to be counting on the government of national accord to be in place and to work in partnership with them to fight and to defeat Daesh," said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, using an alternative name for the group.

She was speaking in Amsterdam, following a meeting of EU defence ministers attended also by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

There has been increasing talk in recent weeks about staging an international military intervention in Libya to stem the spread of Islamic State there, following a US-led air campaign targeting the group in Syria and Iraq.

But many are wary of taking action without the blessing of Libya's new leadership.

The formation of a national unity government "will be an important first step also to be able to fight ISIL," Stoltenberg said ahead of Friday's talks, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

The ministers discussed ways of providing security support to the unity government, once it is in place, as well as plans to extend an EU naval mission targeting migrant traffickers in the high seas off the coast of Libya.

The aim is to expand the operation, codenamed Sofia, to the Libyan coast - a move that would require government approval. The mission could also be broadened to include training for Libyan coastguards, Mogherini said.

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

More from World

NYC mayor: residents shouldn't have to pay for Trump's security

Residents of New York City shouldn't have to foot the bill for added security around the residence of president-...

Four die of the plague in Madagascar

Four people have died from the plague in Madagascar, the Health Ministry announced Wednesday.

Top NATO officer: 150 Turkish officers recalled, retired after coup

About 150 Turkish officers, some responsible for training others, were recalled or retired from NATO high command in...

Erdogan says era of trade in local currencies set to begin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed up his ambitions for the lira Wednesday, saying the era of local...

West demands a ceasefire in Aleppo as Russia seeks rebel surrender

Six Western powers demanded Wednesday an "immediate ceasefire" to bring aid into rebel-held Aleppo, warning "a...