April 16, 2016 / 4:52 PM / 3 years ago

EU could start to train Libya forces outside country: German minister

German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier writes as he attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - European training for Libyan forces could more realistically be started outside the country in the initial stages as part of efforts to rebuild the North African state, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday.

Steinmeier and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited Tripoli for talks with the new Libyan unity government in a show of support to end fighting among rival factions, and combat militants and migrant trafficking.

“I think it is realistic enough to say we have to start training measures from my point of view outside of Libya,” Steinmeier told reporters, when asked about European training plans. He said training could be in Libya later.

Diplomats say there has yet to be detailed discussion with the new U.N.-brokered Libyan government in defining what kind of assistance it wants from the European Union.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Writing by Patrick Markey; editing by Ralph Boulton

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