World powers rule out military intervention in Libya, call for unity govt

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Feb 2015

'The heinous murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya,' world powers say in a joint statement

In this video image released by the Egyptian Defense Ministry, an Egyptian fighter jet lands in Egypt, February 16, 2015 (Egyptian Defense Ministry/AP Photo)

World powers have said they are prepared to fully support a unity government in Libya, without commenting on calls from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi who had urged the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution allowing for an international military intervention in Libya

"The governments of France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States strongly condemn all acts of terrorism in Libya. The heinous murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL," read a joint statement.

"Terrorism affects all Libyans, and no one faction can confront alone the challenges facing Libya. The United Nations-led process to establish a national unity government provides the best hope for Libyans to address the terrorist threat and to confront the violence and instability that impedes Libya’s political transition and development. The international community is prepared to fully support a unity government in addressing Libya’s current challenges."

El-Sisi on Monday launched air strikes in coordination with Libya's internationally recognised government against IS camps and weapons stores in the Libyan city of Derna hours after the Sunni extremists released a gruesome video showing masked jihadists beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.

Gaddafi-era Libyan general Khalifa Haftar regained control of the eastern city of Benghazi from Islamist militias. Haftar's troops were later recognised as the national Libyan army.

Meanwhile, post-Gaddafi Islamist-led armed group Fajr Libya have controlled the capital Tripoli and a number of western areas since August 2014.

IS in Libya, which formed in the last two years, maintains control of different patches of the country.

"Special Representative to the Secretary General Bernardino Leon will convene meetings in the coming days to build further Libyan support for a national unity government. We commend those parties that have so far participated in the talks and note the statements of support by the House of Representatives and Misratan Municipal Council and others for this process," the joint statement read.

"We strongly encourage all parties, including individuals associated with the former General National Congress (GNC), to seize this opportunity to join the UN process in the coming days in a constructive spirit of reconciliation if they hope to shape Libya’s political future. The urgency of the terrorist threat demands swift progress in the political process, based on clear timelines.

"Those who seek to impede this process and Libya’s democratic transition, four years after the revolution, will not be allowed to condemn Libya to chaos and extremism. They will be held by accountable by the Libyan people and the international community for their actions."

El-Sisi has repeatedly called for some kind of global intervention in Libya, which has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Gaddafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising. "We abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias," he said before the joint statement was released.

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