0645 GMT December 07, 2019
The US, four other permanent UN Security Council members and more than 15 other nations participating at the Libya talks in Vienna said in a statement on Monday that they are seeking exemptions from a United Nations arms embargo imposed on Libya to help strife-torn country fight Takfiri militants.
“The Government of National Accord has voiced its intention to submit appropriate arms embargo exemption requests to the UN Libya Sanctions Committee to procure necessary lethal arms and materiel to counter UN-designated terrorist groups and to combat Daesh throughout the country,” said the statement.
The powers said they would be ready to “fully support” Libya’s call for receiving training and equipment; however, they reiterated that the UN arms embargo should continue to be reinforced in order to keep lethal arms away from extremists and rival militias vying for power.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was among top officials in Vienna to declare support for Libya’s internationally-recognized government. The forum said it also aims to find a way for the fledgling administration to end its rivalry with a self-declared government in the east of Libya.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, however, cast some doubts on the aims of initiative in Vienna, saying the international community has yet to reach a conclusion that the new government would be able to establish security and stability in Libya.
“The key question is whether Libya remains a place where terrorism, criminal human smuggling and instability continues to expand, or if we are able, together with the government of national unity to recover stability … That, at present, is an open question,” said Steinmeier.
Libya was turned into a major battleground for rival militants when its long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi was toppled through backing of western powers some five years ago. The country has now two administrations, one which is recognized by world powers resides in the city of Tobruk and the other rules areas from the capital Tripoli.
The Arab country, which is separated from Europe only through a relatively small stretch of the Mediterranean Sea, has also seen some high-profile attacks by Daesh, a major terror organization which is mainly based in Iraq and Syria.