Italy warns Libyans time is running out for unity

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French President Francois Hollande, left, and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, shake hands at the end of a press conference following their meeting, in Venice, Italy

French President Francois Hollande, left, and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, shake hands at the end of a press conference following their meeting, in Venice, Italy (Photo: AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned Libya's factions Tuesday that time is running out for a national unity government to get the confidence backing it needs from parliament.

Italy and other allies have said they will only intervene militarily to help stabilize Libya and fight the Islamic State group once a national unity government is in place and makes a formal request for international assistance to the United Nations.

With French President Francois Hollande at his side, Renzi told a press conference that even with the latest delay of parliamentary approval, the international community still was prepared to do everything to help the government take up its place in Tripoli.

But he warned: "The Libyans must know that the time at their disposition is not infinite."

Hollande, for his part, cited the recent deadly assault by extremists in Tunisia near Libya's border as evidence that IS must be dealt with on a broader, global basis.

"We cannot only help Tunisia to protect its border. We must solve the problem in Libya," and the presence of the Islamic State group there, he said. Hollande said the aim must now be to engage other countries that have influence in Libya and convince them that "the danger is now so great that an inclusive government in Libya is in their interest."

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