The European Union is to launch new sea and air patrols in the Mediterranean to try to stop illegal weapons reaching Libya’s warring sides.
This is a bid to enforce a United Nations arms embargo to Libya which has so far proved ineffective.
Previous attempts to bring the two sides together have failed, but it is hoped that as the fighting stops, a political dialogue can start in one week.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports from Geneva.
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In This Story: EU
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million.
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In This Story: Libya
Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.
The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya’s seven million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I. Parts of Libya are currently split between rival Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments, as well as various tribal and Islamist militias.
Libya is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the OIC and OPEC. The country’s official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.
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In This Story: Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant.
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In This Story: United Nations
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security.
At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; with the addition of South Sudan in 2011, membership is now 193, representing almost all of the world’s sovereign states.