Egypt airstrikes part of right to self defence: FM

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Feb 2015

Egyptian foreign minister is in New York to shore up international support for battling militants in Libya

Sameh Shoukry
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya are a part of Egypt’s right to defend itself, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday in an interview with Saudi news channel Al-Arabiya.

Speaking from New York, where he is conducting talks with international representatives at the United Nations, Shoukry condemned the support militant groups receive from “some countries” which he didn’t name.

Shoukry said the Security Council will convene to discuss Libya on Wednesday.

The Islamic State group published a video on Sunday showing the beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians which Egypt confirmed are 21 men kidnapped between December and January, to which it responded with airstrikes early on Monday coordinated with Libyan forces commanded by the internationally-recognised Libyan government.

Shoukry – who flew to New York shortly after the video was published – is seeking international support in battling IS in Libya and urging the Security Council to act on what Egypt insists is a threat to international security.

Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati told Egypt’s state news agency MENA that Shoukry met on Monday with Jordan’s representative at the Security Council, its only current Arab member.

IS has controlled large areas of Syrian and Iraqi territory since summer 2014. Egypt is battling militants in the Sinai Peninsula pledged allegiance to the group in November.

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