File photo: Egypt's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Amr Abul Atta. (Photo: official website of Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Egypt's delegation to the UN said in a session on Tuesday that Qatar has supported terrorist organisations in Libya; the delegation called for sanctions on the Gulf state which is already in hot water with some of Arab states over these charges, a foreign affairs ministry statement read.
In a session on the obstacles to combating terrorism in Libya, the Egyptian representatives said that terrorism is the main obstacle to achieving stability in Libya and that the negative effects of terrorism in Libya have extended to its neighbouring countries and the entire region.
The ouster of former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 following mass protests resulted in chaos and civil war, which have given terrorism room to grow. Libya currently has two parliaments and two rival governments, which have effectively divided the country into east and west.
The Egyptian delegation also revealed that Egypt has witnessed terrorist attacks that could be traced to Libya, including an attack on Copts in Upper Egypt in May.
On 26 May, gunmen driving three 4x4 trucks "fired randomly" at a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt’s Minya governorate, killing 30, including women and children.
The militant group Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
In response to the Minya attack, the Egyptian Air Force has carried out intensive strikes on "terrorist bases" in Libya, which authorities say were involved in planning and executing the attack.
The Egyptian UN delegation also said that Egypt intercepted on Tuesday 27 June 12 cars packed with weapons which had managed to sneak into the country across its western border with Libya.
The delegation also presented to the UN General Assembly details on how Qatar and another unnamed country in the region have supported terrorism and funded it in Libya.
Egypt called for a number of measures to be implemented in Libya including reaching a political solution, building up the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to oversee and execute the political agreement, and lifting a 2011 arms embargo on the country so that the Libyan army can fight terrorism.
The Qatari delegation to the UN said that Egypt’s claims are baseless, that reports by a number of experts prove that Qatar was not involved in any activity that would destabilise Libya, and that these allegations are part of a media campaign against Qatar.
Four Arab states - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt - severed diplomatic relations with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran -- charges that Doha has denied. A number of other Arab and Muslim countries followed suit.