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Western states renew support for Libyan government

The statement congratulated the GNA for recapturing city of Sirte from IS early this month

Date of publication: 24 December, 2016

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Six Western countries have renewed their support for Libya's unity government a year after it was installed under a United Nations-brokered deal.
Six Western countries including France and Italy have renewed their support for Libya's unity government despite widespread violence and instability a year after it was installed under a UN-brokered deal.

The statement, also signed by Germany, the United States, Spain and Britain, congratulated the Government of National Accord (GNA) for recapturing the city of Sirte from Islamic State (IS) group fighters early this month.

The six countries also "condemned any threat of recourse to military force" in Libya, which has been in a state of chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi left warring militias battling for control in the north African country.

They renewed calls for political dialogue and the unification of Libya's security forces, with a rival authority still ruling the country's far east, backed by forces of a former military strongman, Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Accords signed under UN supervision in Skhirat, Morocco, on December 17 last year designated the GNA as the "only legitimate government of Libya" in the eyes of the international community.

While struggling to assert its control over the entire country, the GNA chalked up a significant victory by retaking Sirte on December 5 after a seven-month offensive.

The city had fallen to IS in June 2015.

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