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France wants action on Libya, stops short of African calls for intervention

Niger's president, Mahamadou Issoufou, reiterated calls for an international military intervention in Libya

Baku. 3 January. REPORT.AZ/ French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday world powers must tackle instability in Libya but he stopped short of openly backing the military intervention called for by regional powers in the Sahel.

Speaking shortly after meeting Le Drian in Niamey, Niger's president, Mahamadou Issoufou, reiterated calls for an international military intervention in Libya, a position supported by several other African leaders concerned about the impact of the country's lawlessness on the region.

Report informs citing Reuters, the leaders of Mali and Senegal have called for action by the West in Libya to end to chaos they say stems from the 2011 intervention that helped oust Libya's longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

While two rival governments compete for legitimacy in Tripoli, Libya's desert south has become a stronghold for armed groups, some with links to al Qaeda.

"Libya is chaos today and it is a breeding ground for terrorists that threaten the stability of Niger and, further afield, France," Le Drian said in Niamey.

"We think that the moment has come to ensure that the international community tackles the Libyan problem. I think this is also what President Issoufou believes," he said.

Le Drian had on Thursday visited a French military base at Madama, a remote fortress town at a crossroads of desert trade routes in northern Niger, near Libya's border.

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