(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in an interview with Reuters in Havana, Cuba, April 29, 2016.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond stated Friday that he saw “no immediate threat to Europe from Islamic State bases in Libya,” and did not foresee the Government of National (GNA) to ask for foreign aid anytime soon, reported Reuters.
The GNA, which has the support of the international community, is hoping that its new Libyan unity government will be able to unify Libya’s various armed factions under a centralized military command against ISIS, with the west promising to provide military training for Libyan forces if requested by the unity government.
I don’t expect the Libyan government to ask for foreign troops either in combat or a training role anytime soon,” Hammond said in an interview while visiting Cuba.
On Thursday Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj called on all political groups in Libya to refrain from any military operations against ISIS until a unified military force is established, warning that any isolated campaigns against ISIS in Sirte could ignite clashes between the various political factions in Libya which could in turn strengthen the terrorist group’s position in the country.
Sarraj’s government is waiting on the Tobruk-based eastern government and its armed forces, the Libyan National Army (LNA) which is controlled by general Khalifa Haftar, to give an official vote of confidence to the unity government and transition its armed forces under the GNA.
He stated that only through unification could ISIS be defeated “by Libyan hands and not through foreign intervention.”
Hammond affirmed that, while he did not see a threat from ISIS at the moment, Britain would consider military action in Libya in the face of a “real and substantive threat” from the militant group.