UK rejects military intervention against IS in Libya 'at the moment'

Marwan Sultan in London , Tuesday 17 Feb 2015

UK insists the best way to defeat extremism in Libya is through a peaceful transition.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the British Chambers of Commerce annual meeting in central London 10, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The UK has ruled out any military action against the extremist Islamic State group in Libya “at the moment”.

This was the first major international reaction to the Egyptian call for a UN resolution on military intervention in Libya.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for international military action in Libya, arguing that what is happening in Libya is a threat to world peace and security.

The UK position shows that there is little possibility that Egypt will be able to gain enough support for their endeavour at the UN for military action in Libya.

In August 2013, the UK parliament rejected the government request for permission to take military action against the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.  

"Our focus is on the political solution and there are no discussions beyond that at the moment in government," a spokeswoman for the UK government told Ahram Online.

She echoed previous remarks by the prime minister's office that London is not considering any military action in Libya.

"We are discussing with Egypt at the moment exactly what action they are taking," the PMO's spokeswoman said on Monday, after Egypt’s airstrikes were launched in retaliation to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts by the Islamic State group.

The UK, a permanent member of United Nations Security Council, believes the killings are a “cruel and barbaric” action which "underlines in Libya the importance of finding a political solution."

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed a special envoy for Libya with the aim “to work with UN partners and representatives in Libya to work on a way forward.”

"It is absolutely clear that what we need to be doing around the world is working with other countries to tackle this growing threat from Islamist extremists and their poisonous ideology wherever we find it," Cameron' s spokeswoman said.

Philip Hammond, the UK Foreign Minister, has said Acts of terrorism should not be allowed to undermine Libya’s political transition.

“We remain fully supportive of the UN’s efforts to build a national unity government for Libya and to bring a political solution to the ongoing security crisis,’ he added.

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