World Bulletin / News Desk
President Barack Obama expressed optimism Tuesday that Libya's leaders can commit to a unity government that would end years of political discord.
The country has been consumed by political instability following the ouster of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Rival governments were since established in Tobruk and Tripoli, each of which boasts its own institutions and militaries.
ISIL has taken advantage of the political chaos, setting up a base of operations in the coastal city of Sirte, which lies between the rival capitals.
“We're working diligently with the United Nations to try and get a government in place in Libya. And that's been a problem,” Obama said during a nationally televised press conference in California.
“The tragedy of Libya over the last several years is Libya has a relatively small population and a lot of oil wealth, and could be really successful.”
Amid growing concern, Libya’s presidential council late Sunday unveiled a revised lineup of a national unity government following a UN-backed political deal signed late last year.
Obama expressed optimism that there is now “a recognition” among Libya’s political leaders “that it makes sense to unify so that there is just some semblance of a state there”.
“But extremes on either side are still making it difficult for that state to cohere,” he said. “If we can get that done, that will be enormously helpful, because our strong preference, as has always been the case, is to train Libyans to fight.”
Obama pledged that the U.S. would continue to go after ISIL “wherever it appears”.
"We will continue to take actions where we got a clear operation and a clear target in mind," he said.
As ISIL faces mounting difficulties bringing its fighters to Iraq and Syria, U.S. officials have warned that the group has instead called on those who wish to fill its ranks to head to the North African country.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Şubat 2016, 08:53