President Francois Hollande said Monday that France would not intervene unilaterally in Libya and urged the international community to take action to stem the deepening crisis in the country.
"We are acting to contain terrorism in the south, but France will not intervene in Libya because it's for the international community to live up to its responsibilities," Hollande told French radio.
Asked if France would take action in a United Nations-mandated operation, Hollande said there would have to be a "clear mandate", "clear organisation" and the "political conditions" would have to be in place.
Fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia prepare to fire an anti-tank cannon mounted on a vehicle during clashes with forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government near the Wetia military air base on December 30, 2014 ©Mahmud Turkia (AFP/File)
The president of neighbouring Niger said on Friday that a solution to the crisis in Libya was not possible without international intervention.
"I do not see how the armed terrorist militias can create the conditions for reconciliation among Libyans," said President Mahamadou Issoufou.
"An international intervention is essential to the reconciliation of all Libyans," including supporters of former dictator Moamer Khadafi, who himself was deposed and killed in 2011 after an international military intervention.
Since the overthrow of Khadafi's regime, Libya has collapsed into a chaos of warring militias and rival governments, and is awash with weapons that travel in an arc of unrest through northern Mali and Niger.
Later Monday, ambassadors from the Arab League will meet to discuss the Libyan crisis, at the request of Libya's internationally recognised government.
French Defence Minister Yves Le Drian recently visited the region and paid a surprise visit to northern Niger, to see a base being built to combat the growing flow of weapons and jihadists from Libya.
Le Drian said his visit demonstrated France's "determination... against the jihadists, terrorism and those who want to transform this ancient caravan route into a route of violence and trafficking."