Rome pushes for military strike in Libya
Italy has called for a UN military mission to Libya after a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts by the IS terrorist militia surfaced on the Internet on Sunday. There is no alternative to intervention now that the IS has moved so close to Europe, journalists comment, warning at the same time that Libya must also receive help in constructing state structures.
IS threat moving closer
Europe should prepare for military intervention in Libya, the conservative daily ABC urges: "A look at the map should set off alarm bells in all European countries. It isn't irrelevant that the criminals led their victims not into the desert but to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea we share with the Arab peoples of North Africa. The murder of the Copts should therefore be interpreted as what it is: a direct threat issued to Europe, an attempt at intimidation. ... For over a decade Nato led an unprecedented operation in Afghanistan, which is more than six thousand kilometres from Spain. Perhaps we should prepare for an intervention in Libya, which is a mere 300 kilometres from Italy, because otherwise the entire Maghreb could be destabilised from a terrorist base which would also have European territory within range of its weapons."
Europe shirks its responsibility
After the murder of the Coptic Christians in Libya French President François Hollande and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have called for a special meeting of the UN Security Council. Europe is leaving the stage to France, the liberal daily Corriere del Ticino complains: "Europe is not interested in its southern border. Neither the flood of refugees nor the concrete threat of Islamist radicalism have galvanised it into action. ... Europe is shirking its responsibilities because there's no one to take over in an emergency. As in Greece and Ukraine, it's only too happy to let others take the limelight. In the case of Libya, it's France's turn. A France that is well disposed to al-Sisi, with whom it does good business."
Mission must be followed by state rebuilding
There is currently no serious alternative to military intervention in Libya, the left-liberal daily Libération argues, warning that any mission must be more long-term than previous ones: "Four years after a military intervention that neglected to prepare for the future, there are only bad solutions. Not get involved? Impossible, due to the threat of the chaos spilling over onto Europe. Form an anti-jihadist coalition, as Egypt and Italy are calling for? Dangerous: but the worst thing is that it may be the only choice. And the general staffs of some armies have been studying the issue for months now. But one thing is certain: if there must be an intervention it must be carried out on an incontestable legal basis, together with the Arab countries, under a UN mandate, and above all, with a real plan for what comes next."
Libya needs stability, not bombs
After Egypt's retaliatory strikes against the IS the conservative Daily Telegraph warns of further destabilisation: "Isil genuinely threatens Egypt, and its growing foothold in the Sinai Peninsula is a serious challenge to Cairo. Their presence in Libya is also uncomfortably close to Egyptian territory. ... However, it's important to separate Isil's role in Libya from the broader civil war there. Not every Libyan opposition faction is jihadist, and acting as if it were, by taking firm sides, is a recipe for disaster. The danger is that Egypt pushes the Libyan government towards such an uncompromising, aggressive strategy towards its Tripoli-based opponents that this forecloses all possibility of a political solution to the conflict, without which it's hard to envision any stability in Libya."