Libyan crisis: Italy seeks swift action

RAI: GENTILONI FIRMA DECRETO, 33MLN PER TV DIGITALEItaly has urged swift action at the UN to tackle the Libyan conflict, highlighting the risk that the country’s warring militias may side with Islamic State militants.

The UN Security Council is due to meet to discuss a response to the conflict.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said his country could send troops as part of a UN peacekeeping mission, if a truce were to be agreed.

Egypt is also pushing for action over Libya, ahead of the UN meeting.

In a statement, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the growing insecurity in the country was “a clear threat to international peace”.

Egyptian jets this week bombed alleged IS targets in Libya, in response to the release of a video that appeared to show the militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians.

Militias have been battling for control in Libya since 2011. The country has two rival governments – based in Tripoli and Tobruk.

Yesterday, a military jet reportedly conducted an air strike on an airport in the town of Zintan, which is controlled by the internationally recognised Tobruk government.

Officials told the Reuters news agency that the attack had been ordered by the Tripoli-based authorities. There were no reports of casualties.

The deepening crisis in Libya has alarmed Italy, its former colonial power.

The Italian government has attributed a recent spike in the flow of migrants, attempting the sea crossing to its shores, to the worsening situation in Libya. A video released this week by the IS-linked militants also contained a threat to Italy.

“The deterioration of the situation on the ground forces the international community to move more quickly before it’s too late,” Mr Gentiloni said, in a special address to parliament.


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