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Italian FM Announces Strategic Libya Meeting to be Held in Vienna

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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Italian FM Paolo Gentiloni and Tunisian FM Khemaies Jhinaoui

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni announced on Monday that regional powers were gearing up to hold talks about supporting Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Vienna on May 16.

Western and regional foreign ministers are invited to the meeting which will center on international efforts to bring stability and security to Libya.

“A common effort is needed to help the process of bringing stability to Libya,” Gentiloni told reporters. “Regional foreign ministers and other important figures will be there.”

Tunisia, whose Prime Minister Habib Essid recently traveled to Libya’s capital in support of GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, was also invited to the meeting by Gentiloni during his visit to Tunis on May 9.

“Tunisia and Italy are very interested, for historic, political and geographic reasons, in resolving the crisis in Libya,” Gentiloni said at a joint press conference with Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui.

Gentiloni and Jhinaoui discussed their support for Libya’s unity government and the need for it to be “stronger and more able to represent the entire Libyan nation.”

After an American-led coalition helped overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya fell into a state of political chaos with two rival governments, one in the east and one in the west, vying for power and control of the country, allowing various militias and terrorists to fill the void.

The international community is hoping that the UN-backed Government of National Accord will be able to unite Libya’s various political and armed factions and drive ISIS forces out of the country.

European nations have expressed their concern at the close proximity of Libya’s ISIS militants to their shores and have offered to provide military aid to Sarraj’s government to help in their battle against extremist forces if requested.

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