World

EU debates ways to back Libya peace talks but reticent on launching any security mission

  • Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, center, waits for the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, center, waits for the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, center, waits for the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, center, waits for the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, center, speaks with counterparts during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, center, speaks with counterparts during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Monday that "we've got to establish a cease-fire and get some unity ... before we can talk about how we might support a peace."

Central authority has broken down in Libya as competing militias fight, some linked to the extremist Islamic State group, and rival parliaments claim political legitimacy.

U.N.-backed peace talks are due to resume in Morocco on Thursday.

"It doesn't seem that the situation would be appropriate" for any peacekeeping mission, Ireland's European affairs minister, Dara Murphy, said in Brussels ahead of talks among EU foreign ministers.