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French foreign minister calls for military assistance in Libya

French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called for the international community to be prepared to help the new unity government in Libya in the event that it asks for support.

In an interview published in Ouest-France newspaper today, Ayrault said: “Libya is a concern shared by all the countries of the region and beyond. The chaos which reigns there today aids the rapid development of terrorism. It is a direct threat to the region and to Europe. While Daesh militants are being pushed back in Syria and Iraq with the help of international intervention, the group is gaining ground in Libya.”

According to Reuters, the French foreign minister said: “We must be prepared to respond if the national unity government of [prime minister-designate Fayez] Al-Sarraj asks for help, including on the military front.”

In response to a question regarding the likelihood of military intervention in Libya, Ayrault replied: “That will depend on the legal government. To think of launching airstrikes outside of the political process is not an option.”

“Algerians did not support the strikes in 2011, as well as the Russians, who have not hesitated in reminding us of the operation in Libya,” which led to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

“We must avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and must not forget what happened in Iraq. The American intervention’s responsibility during George Bush’s administration is dramatic, as that intervention upset the region and brought about extremism and Daesh. All those thinking of solutions in Syria and Libya know that the mistakes of the past must not be repeated.”

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