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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US rejects Libya's call to lift arms embargo

Iran Press TV

Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:8AM

The United States has rejected Libya's call to lift a UN arms embargo on Tripoli, saying the North African country needs a national unity government first.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki Thursday ruled out any change in the current arms embargo on Libya, noting "a political solution, one that is non-intervention, is the right path forward.'

Libya has argued that it needs arms to defend itself from the ISIL Takfiri terrorists who established their presence in the country in October, 2014.

Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi has said 'Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build our national army's capacity" to fight terrorism.

However, Psaki said that lifting embargo and sending arms to the country would cause the weapons to be "diverted to non- state actors."

Britain has also rejected sending international troops to Libya and lifting the embargo under the country's current circumstances.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Thursday that there is no effective government in Libya which can control its territory.

The chaotic country has no military force either which can be supported by the international community, Hammond added.

Tripoli is allowed to import weapons only with the approval of a Security Council committee overseeing the embargo.

The embargo was imposed against Tripoli in 2011 when Libya descended into chaos after an uprising against dictator Muammar Gaddafi led to his ouster.

The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.

The country has been the scene of numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups, which refuse to lay down arms.

SB/AT



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