DOHA, Qatar: Libya’s foreign minister has asked the United Nations to end an embargo on weapon sales to the country’s internationally recognized government and help support its army as it confronts the Islamic State group.
Mohammed al-Dairi told the UN Security Council in New York City on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) that the UN “shouldered a legal responsibility” to help in the rebuilding of Libya’s army.
“Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build our national army’s capacity and this would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons so our army can receive materiel and weapons so as to deal with this rampant terrorism,” Dairi told the council.
“If we fail to have arms provided to us, this can only play into the hands of extremists,’’ he said.
The UN imposed an arms embargo on Libya in 2011 to protect civilians from long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi and his armed forces.
The Libyan government is already allowed to import weapons and related material with the approval of a Security Council committee overseeing the embargo.
Dairi’s appeal came after fighters pledging allegiance to IS released a video on Sunday purporting to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.
Egypt launched air strikes in Libya on Monday the following day.