France hopes to reopen its embassy in Tripoli as a sign of support for Libya’s new unity government, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, in what would be the first reopening of a Western diplomatic mission there. Western governments are growing increasingly concerned about Islamic State’s success in establishing a firm foothold in Libya while two rival factions operating two governments fought for power. The West is now backing a UN-brokered national unity government, which arrived in Tripoli from Tunisia last week and has been operating from a naval base as it seeks to establish its authority. Western diplomatic staff were evacuated from Tripoli in 2014 amid heavy fighting between rival factions. European Union sanctions, pushed by Paris, went into effect last week to pressure hard-liners to accept the UN efforts to unite factions and militias that have competed for power since the fall of Muammar Qadhafi in 2011.
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