World powers to consider lifting UN arms embargo over Libya

Libya's demand over lifting the UN arms embargo in order for them to be able to fight DAESH is being considered by world powers including the United States.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry (C), Libyan Prime Minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj (L) and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni address a press conference on May 16, 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

World powers including the United States are ready to consider demands from Libya's new unity government for exemptions from a UN arms embargo to help take control of the country, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

The West is counting on the UN-backed unity government to tackle DAESH in Libya and stop new flows of refugees heading across the Mediterranean, though the newly instated leaders are still not in control of the capital city, Tripoli.

Speaking after a meeting of about two dozen ministers in Vienna, Fayaz Seraj, the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), said that with his administration now taking shape, he would be giving a list of weapons to relevant authorities "as soon as possible".

"We have a major challenge facing us in fighting DAESH and we hope for assistance on training and equipping our troops," Seraj told reporters.

International powers have repeatedly said they would support Libyan efforts once a unity government was in place and had made its demands clear.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said such a request made sense but would need to be "carefully sculpted".

"We have now had a request come to us and obviously (it has) to be discussed and go through the process with respect to the UN," Kerry said.

The Libyan government is allowed to import weapons and related material with the approval of a UN Security Council committee overseeing the embargo imposed in 2011.

In March last year, eight Security Council members delayed approval of a request by Libya to import weapons, tanks, jets and helicopters to take on DAESH terrorists.

TRTWorld, Reuters