French Foreign Minister To Propose EU Sanctions Against Libyan Officials


France will on Monday propose imposing European Union sanctions on any Libyan official obstructing the formation of a UN-backed unity government, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Thursday.

“I do not exclude threatening them with sanctions. In any case, that is what I will propose to my foreign affairs colleagues on Monday in Brussels,” Ayrault told the iTELE news channel.

“Now, we can wait no longer” he added, denouncing those who “put themselves in the way out of self-interest”.

France said last month it would support economic sanctions for those who “knowingly” scuppered Libya’s political process.

Libya has had rival parliaments and governments since 2014, after an Islamist-led militia alliance overran Tripoli and forced the internationally recognised administration to flee to the remote east of the oil-rich nation.

Extremists including the Islamic State group have exploited the chaos, raising fears of jihadists using the Libyan coast as a launchpad to infiltrate Europe and launch attacks.

Libya was thrown into turmoil after a NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Western countries have agreed that military action is needed to dislodge IS in Libya, but world powers want a national unity government installed to request help before formally intervening.