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Libya's unity government takes hold as Tripoli authorities step down

The Islamist-backed government has taken the decision to "put the interests of the nation above anything else." But the UN envoy to Libya said "deeds must follow words" after visiting the nation's capital.

On Tuesday, Libya's self-declared National Salvation Government (NSG), based in Tripoli, announced that it would cease operations days after a UN-backed national unity government arrived.

"We inform you that we are stopping our work as an executive power, as the presidency, members of parliament and ministers of the government," the NSG said in a statement posted on the justice ministry's website.

"We put the interests of the nation above anything else, and stress that the bloodshed stop and the nation be saved from division and fragmentation," the statement added.

Last week, UN-backed prime minister-designate Fayez Serraj (pictured above)

arrived by ship in the Libyan capital

after the Islamist-backed Tripoli authorities denied him access to Libyan airspace.

'Good news'

Serraj, along with members of the unity government, have been operating out of a naval base in Libya since they arrived in an

attempt to shore up support

among Libya's various factions.

UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler hailed the NSG's decision after visiting the nation's capital on Thursday.

"Back from an intense day in Tripoli, I found the news of the Tripoli government to hand over power to the GNA. Good news. Now deeds must follow words," Kobler said in a tweet, referring to the UN-backed

Government of National Accord

(GNA).

Watch video 12:07

Kobler: 'Libyans must now stand together'

Germany offers support

Libya descended into chaos following the ouster of the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, with several warring factions vying for power, eventually giving rise to the

"Islamic State"

militant group in the North African country.

In February, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Berlin would aid the unity government

"Germany, Europe and the international community are ready to offer any help to support the Libyan government in this," Steinmeier said. "This also applied to state-building and the training of security forces."

Watch video 01:26

Resistance to Libyan unity government

ls/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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