World, Arab powers back Libya unity government as way to fight IS

A US and Italy-led coalition of world powers and regional players urge Libya’s warring factions to lay down their weapons and back a new national unity government under a UN peace plan due to be signed on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is among ministers and officials from 17 countries who, along with the UN, the EU and the Arab league, call for an immediate ceasefire across Libya.

They pledge support for efforts to end the chaos that has engulfed the North African state since the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi, and to reduce the risk of Islamic State (IS) expanding its presence.

“We came here today because we cannot allow the status quo to continue,” Kerry says at the close of talks attended by 15 officials from different wings of Libya’s splintered political class.

“It is dangerous for the viability of Libya, dangerous for Libyans and, because of Daesh (IS) migrating there, dangerous for everyone.

“We refuse to stand by and watch a vacuum filled by terrorists.”

— AFP

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