EU warns against sabotage of Libya talks

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said the bloc "stands ready to support a national unity government as soon as it is created." (File Photo:AP)

The EU warned Friday that anyone sabotaging talks on forming a Libya national unity government will be held responsible by an international community desperate to get the rival factions to agree a deal.

"All groups in Libya should refrain from actions that increase tensions at a time when Libyan parties are engaged in a decisive stage of the political dialogue," European Union foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said.

"Those who continue to undermine the talks will be identified by the international community and held accountable for their actions," Mogherini said in a statement.

She gave no further details.

Mogherini has been at the forefront of efforts for the EU to play a more active role in resolving the Libyan crisis, sparked by the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Since then, the country has descended into chaos as rival factions fight it out for control, allowing extremist Islamist groups to gain a foothold, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The 28-nation EU fears Libya could become a direct security threat while more and more refugees seeking safety in Europe present a massive humanitarian problem.

Mogherini said the bloc "stands ready to support a national unity government as soon as it is created."

EU foreign ministers would meanwhile "discuss on concrete ways to support the new Libyan authorities and related security arrangements" when they meet April 20, she added.

Analysts said there is little prospect of an early agreement, with U.N.-brokered talks dragging on without progress.

A spokesman for the U.N. mission to Libya told AFP the negotiations could resume this weekend, focusing on a six-point proposal to set up a transitional government to rule until a new constitution is adopted and elections held.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:55 - GMT 10:55