World powers support unity government in Libya

Seventeen countries call for ceasefire, urge political factions in Libya to form unity government

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L), Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (C) and United Nations envoy Martin Kobler attend a news conference during a meeting in Rome, Italy, December 13, 2015.

Major powers on Sunday met representatives from Libya’s political factions to urge them to form a national unity government, as part of an UN-brokered plan.

Joined by UN envoy Martin Kobler US Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni co-hosted the meeting and said they were expecting Libya's two rival governments to sign a unity deal on Dec. 16.

Representatives from 17 countries signed a joint statement pledging to cut off contacts with factions that do not sign the deal.

"We stand ready to support the implementation of the political agreement and underline our firm commitment to providing the Government of National Accord with full political backing and technical, economic, security and counter-terrorism assistance, as requested," the statement said.

The seventeen countries including Turkey, Egypt, Germany, Russia and China participated in the meeting to give a final push to a year of UN-led negotiations aimed at ending the chaos that has surrounded the North African state since the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi.

Kerry said most members of the factions were ready to sign.

The two rival governments currently in power in Libya "have come together and are ready to sign an agreement, and they refuse to be blocked by one or two people or individual politics," Kerry told reporters.

Both Kerry and Gentiloni, stressed that a unity government in Libya was also required to fight the growing threat from DAESH terrorists.

"The message of today's meeting is clear," Gentiloni said. "What matters is the stabilisation of Libya because this too can contribute to the fight against terrorism."

DAESH terror group has strengthened its position in Libya by taking over the central city of Sirte. It has attacked several locations such as a hotel, a prison in Tripoli along with oil fields and military checkpoints. It had also released a video of its terrorists beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.

The UN’s peace plan would allow a new Libyan government to seek for international military assistance to combat DAESH’s increasing presence.

TRTWorld and agencies