The Libyan situation topped the agenda at the meeting of EU defence and foreign ministers in Amsterdam while the EU and NATO expressed their willingness to make greater efforts to support the government of national accord led by Faiz Al-Siraj.
The German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that Libya has now become a stronghold for ISIS militants and a fertile ground for their operations. She added that “Their presence in Sirte, which is about 450 kilometers east of Tripoli, is increasing more and more”. Libya has become a stronghold for ISIS and this coincides with the US Department of Defense’s estimates that the number of militants has doubled as a result of the chaos in Libya to nearly 5,000 individuals. However, the number of militants in Syria and Iraq has diminished to between 19,000 and 25,000 people at present.
Meanwhile, the UN’s envoy to Libya Martin Kobler met the President of the Libyan Council of Deputies Aguila Saleh in a sudden meeting in the city of Shahhat. This meeting was conducted before the end of meetings held by the presidential council of the government of national accord to announce the second formation of the government led by Al-Siraj.
Kobler described his meeting with Aguila as “very productive” and stressed that “it is very important to ratify the second formation of the government of national accord which will be presented by the presidential council” to Al-Siraj’s government.