Chaos in Libya poses "direct threat" to Europe - Minister
Libya/Daesh – Interview given by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to the daily newspaper Ouest-France
Paris, 1 April 2016
Q. – The situation is very chaotic in Libya, with three governments and the presence of Daesh [so-called-ISIL]. France says it is supporting the national unity government of Fayez Sarraj, who arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday. Under what terms?
THE MINISTER – I recently met Mr Sarraj in Tunis. He’s a very strong, very brave man. He told me he was determined to go to Tripoli to sort out his security [arrangements] with local forces himself. He wants to be able to assert a legitimacy which is supported by the members of Parliament and recognized by the international community. His decision to go to Tripoli now is encouraging.
Q. – Is France going to help ensure his security?
THE MINISTER – Not just France. Nothing is possible without this legal government recognized by the international community. Libya is a subject of concern shared by all the countries of the region and well beyond. The chaos reigning there today is conducive to the rapid development of terrorism. This poses a direct threat to the region and to Europe. Daesh is retreating in Syria and Iraq, but making progress on the ground in Libya. We’ve got to be prepared to answer the call if Sarraj’s national unity government asks for assistance, including on the military front.
Q. – Answer the call – does that mean being ready for an intervention?
THE MINISTER – That will depend on what the legal government asks us. Imagining that we could launch air strikes outside of any political process isn’t an option. The Algerians, who weren’t in favour of the strikes in 2011, along with the Russians, never waste an opportunity to remind us of the operation in Libya. We must avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and not forget what happened in Iraq. The American intervention under George W. Bush bears a tragic responsibility. It had a profound impact on the region and gave birth to extremism and Daesh. All those who are thinking about solutions, in Syria as much as Libya, know that we mustn’t make these mistakes again. (…)./.
Libya – Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
Paris, 30 March 2016
France welcomes today’s arrival in Tripoli of Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj and several members of the Presidential Council to prepare for the installation of the national unity government. I applaud this courageous decision, which has the full support of the international community.
France calls on all Libyan institutions to serve this government in order to meet the expectations of the people, in line with the Skhirat agreement and Security Council Resolution 2259 (2015).
The Libyan national unity government can count on France’s full support in tackling the challenges it faces, and first among them, the urgent need to bring an end to advances by Daesh [so-called ISIL].
Let me remind you that the European Union decided to impose sanctions on those who endeavour to delay this government from taking office, thereby threatening the unity, security and stability of Libya and its neighbours./.