BRUSSELS 

The European Union is set to send a military mission to Libya to bolster the bloc’s influence as a foreign superpower, according to a leaked paper. 

Libya’s peace process requires large-scale disarmament, demobilization and the reintegration of combatants as well as fundamental security sector reform, according to an internal paper from the EU foreign service dated July 1 seen by Brussels-based news outlet EUobserver.

It is stated that the EU is about to finalize plans for large-scale operations in North Africa in the coming months, aiming to end human and arms trafficking in the region.

“In this context, an EU military CSDP [Common Security and Defense Policy] engagement should…be considered in order not to leave the entire field of activity in the military domain to third states,” it added.

Underlining that the Libyan authorities expressed a need for EU support on Libya’s borders, including in the south, it said this may open up the possibility of obtaining overflight rights for EU aerial surveillance assets over Libyan territory if the Libyan authorities agree.

Libya has recently witnessed positive developments following a breakthrough in which rival parties agreed on Feb. 5 on a unified new executive authority that will govern in the lead-up to national elections.

Libyans hope the new government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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