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03/12/2016

EU prepares sanctions as Kerry seeks support for Libya peace plan

Global Europe

EU prepares sanctions as Kerry seeks support for Libya peace plan

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[Reuters]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday (2 August) he would seek greater backing for a U.N. peace plan for Libya which has been spurned by some key players in a country where two rival governments are vying for power. 

Some warring factions signed an initial United Nations-sponsored deal on July 12 to form a unity government and end fighting, but the parliament in Tripoli – set up to rival the official assembly which was pushed out of the capital – rejected the agreement.

“We cannot allow one or two or three different spoiler groups who have not achieved all of their goals they had hoped to achieve though the conflict to destroy the entire process,” Kerry told a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo.

“We agree that we are going to review a couple of possibilities and options over the course of the next days of how we might get greater support to the U.N. initiative right now,” Kerry said.

Libya is in chaos, with two government fighting for control four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

The internationally recognised House of Representatives has agreed to the U.N. plan despite opposition from some hardliners in the military. The Tripoli-based General National Congress, the rival assembly backed by some Islamist parties, had refused.

Kerry did not say what steps he might take. The United States and its European allies have tried to get the United Nations to impose sanctions on figures in Tripoli that are opposed to the deal, but that move was blocked by Russia and China.

The European Union is preparing sanctions against some Libyans accused of blocking the deal, Western diplomats told Reuters last month.