TRIPOLI - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday his country can help Libya tackle security issues in the wake of the 2011 revolt that toppled Moamer Gathafi and brought democratic elections.
"We will stand by you to take up the security challenge," said Fabius, the first representative of a foreign government to address the Libyan national assembly, which was elected in July, in Tripoli.
"I propose scaling up our security and defence cooperation to help you build the army and police forces that Libya needs. Should you express the wish, France will ask the European Union to provide you with assistance in this vital area," he said.
"You know as well as I, there can be no democracy without security. There can be no security without re-establishing the authority of the state... We will give you our entire support to ensure this authority is effective."
Libyan authorities are struggling to rein in dozens of lawless militias born out of the 2011 conflict and to contain armed clashes triggered by regional and tribal rivalries.
Fabius said France is also ready to help Libya, a transit point for thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants seeking a better life in Europe, to monitor its borders.
"The border control issue is all the more pressing given the unstable situation in the Sahel, which could have repercussions on your country and the entire region," he warned.