Alfano urges powerful UN leadership on Libya

Alfano urges powerful UN leadership on Libya

The United Nations must take "very strong" leadership to end the crisis in chaos-wracked Libya, Italy's foreign minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday.

"The UN must show very strong leadership on Libya," Alfano told journalists in Rome after a meeting with the new United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame.

"Up until today there have been too many deals, too many negotiators and zero results. The instability in Libya is not a Serie B game, it is an absolute priority," Alfano said.

Alfano reemphasised his support for the UN-backed government of national accord (GNA) in Tripoli in its struggle to rule the country split by a myriad of armed groups and several rival administrations that have vied for power since the 2011 ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Alfano also stressed the need for economic aid to Libya as well as measures to tackle people smugglers operating out of the country, where Italy this month launched a naval mission to give technical and logistical support Libyan coastguard at the request of UN-backed premier Fayez al Sarraj.

Italy is keen to stem a migrant influx that has seen some 614,000 people cross the Mediterranean from its lawless former colony since 2014.