Egypt's Sisi urges UN resolution for military intervention in Libya

AFP , Reuters , Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Feb 2015

Islamic State group published a video this week showing the beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution allowing for an international military intervention in troubled Libya.

"There is no other choice. Taking into account that the Libyan people must agree that we act to restore security and stability," El-Sisi said in an interview with French radio Europe 1.

El-Sisi has repeatedly called for some kind of global intervention in Libya, which has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Qaddafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

Referring to the brief 2011 war, in which France was part of, El-Sisi called it an "unfinished mission."

Chaos in Libya has seen rival governments and powerful militias battling for control of key cities and the country's vast oil riches, and has provided fertile ground for the Islamic State militant group.

El-Sisi on Monday launched air strikes in coordination with Libya's internationally recognised government against IS camps and weapons stores in the Libyan city of Derna hours after the Sunni extremists released a gruesome video showing masked jihadists beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is at the United Nations headquarters in New York trying to shore up support for the intervention.

Shoukry has met with Jordan, currently the only Arab member of the Security Council, and Libya's representative at the organisation.

The foreign ministry said Shoukry will conduct talks with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on strategic coordination regarding Libya before a Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

Backing for recognised government

Asked if it would recommence its own action: "We need to do it again, and all of us together."

"We abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias," he said.

El-Sisi called on militias to hand in their arms but urged weapons to be supplied to Libya's internationally recognised government, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, after rivals seized power in Tripoli.

The Tobruk government has already asked for the lifting of an international arms embargo to help it take back control of the country.

The European Union said on Monday it saw no role for the bloc in any military intervention, but would discuss joint action with Washington and Egypt.

"What we are seeing today in Libya is a double threat: it is a threat of a country that is breaking apart and of a country where Daesh [IS] is taking power and infiltrating," said EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

The African Union maintains the only solution for Libya is a political deal.

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