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EU's foreign affairs chief Borrell warns of 'violence escalation' in Libya

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EU's foreign affairs chief Borrell warns of 'violence escalation' in Libya
Copyright  Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
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The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has warned of the "escalation of violence" in Libya and said the EU rejects Turkish plans to send troops to the North African country.

"We ask for a ceasefire and for a stop to the escalation, which has been increasing in the last days", Borrell said.

"We are asking for a diplomatic solution on the understanding that there is not a military solution in Libya."

Turkey intervening with military personnel in Libya is "something we [the EU] are against", Borrell added. It would, he said, "increase the external interference" in Libya's conflict.

"It's not a matter of force, the EU is not using force", he said. "We will continue to talk to all Libyan actors."

Borrell met on Tuesday in Brussels with the foreign ministers of France, Italy, Germany and the UK to discuss the Libyan situation.

Before the meeting, Borrell, who is also the Vice-President of the European Commission, warned in a statement that "recent developments in Libya indicate that an escalation of violence around Tripoli could be imminent".

"We condemn attacks such as Saturday’s strike against the military school, which only bring more violence and human suffering," the statement said.

Borrell called the ministers meeting to "work genuinely towards a political solution to the crisis in Libya".

"The European Union calls on all sides to engage in a political process under the leadership of the United Nations. The European Union will continue to deploy all efforts towards finding a peaceful and political solution to this process," Borrell said.

France's Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany's Heiko Maas, Italy's Luigi Di Maio and Britain's Dominic Raab attended the meeting with Borrell.