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EU, North Africa both stand to gain from stable Libya

09 February 2016, 19:35

Tunis - European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in Tunis on Monday that both the EU and North Africa stand to gain from a stable Libya.

"A stable Libya is in the interests of the whole of the Maghreb and the whole of Europe," he said in a speech to the Tunisian parliament, calling for the formation of a Libyan unity government.

Schulz said Europe was aware of the "economic, social and security consequences of insecurity in Libya on civil order and economic growth for you and your neighbours".

Europe and Libya's neighbours have stepped up pressure on the country's rival administrations to fall in line with a UN-brokered peace deal that calls for the formation of a national unity government that would curb inroads made by the Islamic State jihadist group.

Also Read: Deadly air strike hits hospital in east Libya: medic

Tunisia on Saturday completed the construction of a barrier along its border with Libya, months after jihadist attacks on its national museum and a beach resort that killed dozens of tourists.

Schulz, at the start of a three-day visit, praised the "democratic advances written into" Tunisia's new constitution at a time when it is faced with economic, social and security woes.

Tunisian citizens must "feel the reforms in their daily lives and see the difference" from the situation that existed before the country's 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, he said.

Schulz warned the Tunisian leadership "not to fall into the trap" of putting security as their sole priority because of concerns over terrorism.

On Tuesday, he is to visit the Sousse coastal region where an IS-claimed attack last June killed 38 foreign tourists, including 30 Britons.


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