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Published on Feb 11, 2016
As the UN—brokered talks continue, we must remain optimistic that the agreement reached in December of last year can be fully implemented and that a stable and durable Libyan Government of National Accord can now be formed. Such discussions take time, however, and we cannot ignore the growing presence of ISIS in the region.
As the coalition against ISIS meets in Rome to discuss progress, militarily speaking, in Iraq and Syria, I am pleased to see that Libya is also now on the agenda. All options must remain open. I welcome the news that the United States is considering military offensives against ISIS in Libya, as well as Syria and Iraq, in the event of a UN agreement breaking down. Whilst reports suggest that the French Government has ruled out any further military action, I would hope that other EU Member States, not least my own, the United Kingdom, would also consider supporting such action, as we were active in Libya when the Gaddafi regime fell. Entrenched ISIS strongholds on the coast of Libya after their defeat in Syria or Iraq would constitute a complete failure of the Neighbourhood Policy and pose a grave security risk to EU Member States, particularly in the context of the migration crisis.