Italy presses UN to achieve political solution for Libya

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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.
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)
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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.

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