Reuters International

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, January 30, 2015. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

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LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said NATO could reach a decision to help Libya before its July summit in Warsaw as long as the Libyan government requested its aid.

"We remain ready to support Libya in building its defence institutions if we get a request from a legitimate government in Libya," Vershbow told Reuters on the sidelines of a NATO arms control conference in Slovenia on Monday.

"We all hope that the government ... under Prime Minister-designate (Fayez) Serraj can consolidate its control. If that happens and we get a request, we could respond even before the Warsaw summit," he said. He did not say what form that help would take.

Talks on providing support for Libya's new unity government will be held in Vienna next week, Italy's foreign minister said on Monday.

The meeting will focus on international efforts to bring stability to Libya, where two rival governments have vied for power since 2014, opening the way for Islamic State to establish itself and gain ground in the North African state.

(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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