Kerry warns of ISIS threat in Libya

February 2, 2016 11:46

ROME - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that a unity government was on the verge of being created in Libya, but warned that Islamic State militants could get their hands on the country's oil wealth.

Islamic State forces have attacked Libya's oil infrastructure and established a foothold in the Libyan city of Sirte, exploiting a prolonged power vacuum in a country where two rival government have been battling for supremacy.

"In Libya, we are on the brink of getting a government of national unity," Kerry told a conference in Rome. "That country has resources. The last thing in the world you want is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars of oil revenue."

Under a UN-backed plan for a political transition, the two warring administrations are expected to form a unity government, but the move has been dogged by in-fighting.

Ministers and officials from 23 nations are in Rome to review their efforts to regain Syrian and Iraqi territory from the jihadist Islamic State group and to discuss ways to curb its wider influence, notably in Libya.

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