Italy presses UN to achieve political solution for Libya

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

22 PHOTOS
Italy ISIS Threat (Islamic State, Migrants)
See Gallery
Italy presses UN to achieve political solution for Libya
The Italian coast guard has saved about 2000 refugees off Libya's coast in recent days, with the latest migrants arriving in Sicily after being rescued at sea.
FILE - In this file image made from a video released Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 by militants in Libya claiming loyalty to the Islamic State group purportedly shows Egyptian Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits being led along a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant. Egypt is making an ambitious bid to place itself at the center of the fight against extremism across the Middle East. Beyond fighting militants in its own Sinai Peninsula, it is trying to organize an international coalition against the Islamic State in Libya and helping Saudi Arabia defend its borders.AP Photo, File)
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni delivers his speech at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Italy pressed for swifter action Wednesday by the United Nations to find a political solution to Libya's rapidly deteriorating security situation. Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, speaking in Parliament, urged the world to "quicken its pace before it is too late." Egypt this week launched airstrikes in neighboring Libya after the Islamic State group posted a video of the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians there. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi, Ansa)
Migrants wait to disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
An officer carries a baby as migrants disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. With Libya's security rapidly deteriorating, the number of migrants who set out in smugglers boats from Libyan shores toward Italy has surged. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
FILE - In this undated file image posted on Monday, June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, Syria. In the early dawn of Nov. 2, militant leaders with the Islamic State group and al-Qaida gathered at a farm house in northern Syria and sealed a deal to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents, a prominent Syrian opposition official and a rebel commander said. Such an alliance could be a significant blow to struggling U.S-backed Syrian rebels. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File)
Migrants wait to disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
Migrants disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
Migrants wait to disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
FILE - In this undated file image posted on Monday, June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria. In the early dawn of Nov. 2, militant leaders with the Islamic State group and al-Qaida gathered at a farm house in northern Syria and sealed a deal to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents, a prominent Syrian opposition official and a rebel commander said. Such an alliance could be a significant blow to struggling U.S-backed Syrian rebels. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File)
FILE - In this undated file image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on Monday, June 30, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, Syria. In the early dawn of Nov. 2, militant leaders with the Islamic State group and al-Qaida gathered at a farm house in northern Syria and sealed a deal to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents, a prominent Syrian opposition official and a rebel commander said. Such an alliance could be a significant blow to struggling U.S-backed Syrian rebels. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File)
RESENDING TO PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE CROP OF XFM105 - Migrants wait to disembark from an Italian Navy ship after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
Migrants wait to disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
Migrants wait to disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Pasquale Claudio Montana Lampo, Ansa)
LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 17: Migrants board a plane at Lampedusa airport on February 17, 2015 in Lampedusa, Italy. In the last days hundreds of migrants arrived in lampedusa leeing the Libyan crisis. Temporary Permanence Centre' (CPT) of Lampedusa hosts about 1,200 migrants although it's designed to accommodate 250. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 17: Migrants wait to board a plane at Lampedusa airport bound for a detention center elsewhere in the country on February 17, 2015 in Lampedusa, Italy. Hundreds of migrants have recently arrived in Lampedusa fleeing the attacks by ISIS in Libya. The Temporary Permanence Centre' (CPT) of Lampedusa, which was designed to accommodate 250, currently holds about 1,200 migrants following Sunday's rescue of 2,000 in the Mediterranean Sea between the island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Migrants disembark from a ship on February 17, 2015 in the port of Porto Empedocle, south Sicily, following a rescue operation of migrants as part of the International Frontex plan (Triton). The Italian coastguard launched a massive operation Sunday to rescue more than 2,000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast, local media said. The emergency rescue came on the same day Italy said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there, highlighting the worsening security situation in the violence-plagued country. AFP PHOTO / MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO (Photo credit should read MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants wait at the 'Temporary Permanence Centre' (CPT), a refugee camp on February 17, 2015 in Lampedusa. The Italian coastguard launched a massive operation Sunday to rescue more than 2,000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast, local media said. The emergency rescue came on the same day Italy said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there, highlighting the worsening security situation in the violence-plagued country. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants chat at the 'Temporary Permanence Centre' (CPT), a refugee camp on February 17, 2015 in Lampedusa. The Italian coastguard launched a massive operation Sunday to rescue more than 2,000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast, local media said. The emergency rescue came on the same day Italy said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there, highlighting the worsening security situation in the violence-plagued country. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants wait to disembark from a ship on February 17, 2015 in the port of Porto Empedocle, south Sicily, following a rescue operation of migrants as part of the International Frontex plan (Triton). The Italian coastguard launched a massive operation Sunday to rescue more than 2,000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast, local media said. The emergency rescue came on the same day Italy said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there, highlighting the worsening security situation in the violence-plagued country. AFP PHOTO / MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO (Photo credit should read MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants wait to disembark from a ship on February 17, 2015 in the port of Porto Empedocle, south Sicily, following a rescue operation of migrants as part of the International Frontex plan (Triton). The Italian coastguard launched a massive operation Sunday to rescue more than 2,000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast, local media said. The emergency rescue came on the same day Italy said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there, highlighting the worsening security situation in the violence-plagued country. AFP PHOTO / MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO (Photo credit should read MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants disembark from a ship under heavy rain on February 16, 2015 in the port of Trapani, western Sicily, following a rescue operation of migrants last night as part of the International Frontex plan (Triton). The Italian coastguard launched a massive operation Sunday to rescue more than 2,000 migrants in difficulty between the Italian island of Lampedusa and the Libyan coast, local media said. The emergency rescue came on the same day Italy said it was evacuating staff from its embassy in Libya and suspending operations there, highlighting the worsening security situation in the violence-plagued country. AFP PHOTO / MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO (Photo credit should read MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

ROME (AP) -- Italy pressed for swifter action Wednesday by the United Nations to find a political solution to Libya's rapidly deteriorating security situation.

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, speaking in Parliament, urged the world to "quicken its pace before it is too late."

Egypt this week launched airstrikes in neighboring Libya after the Islamic State group posted a video of the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians there.

Hours before a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting, Gentiloni said the United Nations must "double its efforts" to promote political dialogue among Libyans who are divided among competing militias, Islamist factions and tribal rivalries. Gentiloni said the only solution to Libya's problems is a political one.

Last week, Italy appeared to be supporting military intervention but Premier Matteo Renzi has since stressed diplomacy. A Feb. 11 meeting in Ghadames, Libya, among Libyan factions, appeared to be `'a step in the right direction," Gentiloni said.

Italy is ready to monitor any cease-fire, contribute to peacekeeping efforts, repair infrastructure and provide military training so militias can be folded into the regular army, he said.

Italy, Libya's former colonial ruler, had close economic and political relations with Tripoli during the long rule of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was ousted in 2011.

With Italian islands only a few hundred kilometers (miles) from Libya, Italy has borne the brunt of waves of migrants who are smuggled across the Mediterranean from Libya. Officials say more Libyan chaos could swell the numbers of migrants fleeing war in Syria and other conflicts.

Italian authorities have also raised fears that terrorists backing the Islamic State group might mingle among the trafficked migrants and reach Italy by sea.

More in the news:
White House puts immigration plans on hold after ruling
How the US plans to dampen ISIS' online message
Danish intelligence: No signs gunman was planning attacks

Read Full Story

People are Reading