Egypt concerned over reports of Libya-bound ship carrying explosive materials

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Jan 2018

The Egyptian foreign ministry said it is seeking further information on an apparent shipment of explosive materials heading from Turkey to Libya, in breach of a weapons embargo on the North African nation

File photo of Misrata, an important shipping and industrial hub in Libya (Reuters)

Egypt has expressed great concern over news reports of a ship that was intercepted by Greek authorities last week as it transported explosive materials from Turkey to the port of Misrata in Libya.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Egyptian foreign ministry said that, if the news reports are correct, then the incident represent a "blatant breach" of the weapons embargo imposed on Libya by the UN Security Council, according to resolution number 2292.

Last week, Greek authorities announced that its coast guard had seized a Tanzanian-flagged ship bound for Libya with a cargo of explosive materials. The materials are believed to be of use in both mining and manufacturing bombs.

News agencies reported that the ship's cargo was officially loaded in the Turkish ports of Mersin and Iskenderum and was headed for Djibouti and Oman, but the captain of the ship allegedly told Greek authorities that he was ordered to head to the port of Misrata in Libya.

On Saturday, Turkey officially launched an investigation into the incident.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said the Egyptian diplomatic missions in the UN security council's member countries, as well Egypt's permanent UN delegation, have been tasked with gathering more information on the incident.

He also demanded that the Libya Sanctions Committee at the UN Security Council investigate the incident, especially since the Libyan authorities have officially made the same request.

An arms embargo imposed by the European Union and United Nations has prohibited the sale, supply or transfer of arms to Libya since 2011.

Abu Zaid said that Egypt is working to stop any violation of the embargo, as such violations are a threat to the efforts of the international community to impose stability in the war-torn country.

In addition, he said, violations impact on Egyptian National security and anti-terrorism efforts.


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