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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Jordan Urges UN Security Council Action on Libya

by VOA News February 19, 2015

Jordan circulated a draft United Nations Security Council resolution late Wednesday that would lift an arms embargo against the Libyan government, work toward halting the flow of weapons to militants, and push for Libya's internationally recognized government to return to the capital in Tripoli.

The council met earlier for emergency talks on the situation in Libya, where militias and two parallel governments have left the country in a persistent state of instability following the 2011 ouster of leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The session came days after Islamic State militants released a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya.

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi called the situation in Libya 'disastrous,' and told the council that the world has a responsibility to preserve peace and stability.

'Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build our national arms capacity, and this would come through the lifting of the arms embargo on weapons so that our army can receive material and weapons so they can deal with this rampant terrorism,' he said.

The foreign minister stressed Libya is not asking for international military intervention.

The U.N.'s special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, spoke to the council by teleconference, saying that addressing the political crisis remains the most important priority.

'The savage terrorist acts highlight once again the imminent danger confronting Libya, its people and the wider region unless there is a swift agreement among the main parties in the country of resolving the political crisis and bringing an end to the military and political conflict,' he said.

Libya has been under an arms embargo since 2011. The internationally recognized government now operating out of Tobruk has been able to petition a U.N. committee to ask that certain weapons sales be approved, but there remains some unease in lifting the embargo with fears that the arms could end up in the hands of the many militant groups operating in Libya.

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