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French foreign minister offers support to new Libya PM


Paris: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius today offered his support to Fayyez al-Sarraj, the man lined up to be prime minister in a new unity government in Libya, his office said.

The new government is set to take power in January in Tripoli following a fragile UN-brokered accord reached earlier this month.

Fabius phoned Sarraj to assure him that France will “be at the side of the Libyan people to overcome the challenges confronting the country, starting with the securing of the capital, the return of stability and the fight against terrorism,” his office said in a statement.

France will provide emergency medical aid to Benghazi, a city in the east of Libya where fierce fighting continues between competing militias.

The new accord calls for a 17-member government, headed by businessman Sarraj. There would also be a presidential council for a transitional period of two years up until legislative elections.

But it has created sharp divisions within Libya’s two competing legislatures, and will face huge challenges in dealing with the multi-faceted civil war in the country, which includes an offshoot of the Islamic State group.

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