(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
In a summit held in Vienna today about Libya between UN Security Council members, and more than 15 other European and regional powers have stated that they are going to provide arms to Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to aid in their offensive against ISIS forces.
“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 a joint statement.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said that his government would soon submit a list of weapons it required to the UN Security Council for approval.
The international community said that they were ready to fully support Libya’s call for receiving assistance in their fight against ISIS in the form of training and equipment, however, the UN arms embargo would only be partially lifted so as to keep weapons from falling into the hands of rival militias and extremists fighting for control of the country.
“We will fully support these efforts while continuing to reinforce the UN arms embargo,” the joint statement said.
In an article written by Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj for the Telegraph, Sarraj called on the international community to assist Libya in its fight against ISIS by lifting the UN arms embargo. He maintained that Libya needed logistical support in its fight against ISIS and not foreign intervention.
“When it comes to defeating (ISIS), I remind our friends that this will be achieved by Libyan efforts and without foreign military intervention,” stated Sarraj. “We are not asking for foreign boots on the ground, but we are requesting assistance with training, and lifting the arms embargo on Libya.”
This move will give the GNA more muscle in its fight against ISIS and will boost the unity government’s efforts to consolidate power.