The weakness of the Government of National Accord (GNA) was more fully realised in international diplomatic circles last week, when GNA Foreign Minister Taher Siala failed to make a positive impact on the European stage… During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on 22 June, President Barack Obama’s nominee to command US forces in Africa, Marine Lt. General Thomas Waldhauser, said that more ground troops were needed in Libya to fight ISIS and agreed the current strategy of not bombing the group there “makes no sense.”

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Following UN Security Council approval on 14 June to inspect vessels off the coast of Libya, EU foreign ministers agreed at talks in Luxembourg on 20 June to extend Operation Sophia to July 2017, and tasked it with supporting Libya’s coast guard and navy. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on 15 June, special envoy for Libya Jonathan Winer told the committee that the Obama administration seeks to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) with a $56 million aid package.

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Despite the steady advance on Sirte by the Bunyan Marsus coalition, there were no significant actions taken by the Western international community last week. Most notably, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to extend the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) mandate to December 15, 2016, and encouraged UNSMIL to re-establish a permanent presence in the country.

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The European Union (EU) is pushing for increased authority to enforce the existing embargo on arms shipments Libya. Speaking to the UN Security Council on 6 June, EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini urged members to authorize EU naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea β€œto enforce the UN arms embargo on the high seas, off the coast of Libya.”

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