UN puts on hold Libyan request for arms delivery: Diplomats
Iran Press TV
Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:54AM
The United Nations has delayed the approval of a Libyan request for the purchase of weapons to fight ISIL Takfiri militants, diplomats say.
On March 4, Libya's UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi asked the Security Council to lift the arms embargo imposed against the country in 2011, when Libya witnessed chaos following the uprising against former longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya requested the approval of the UN Security Council for an exemption to the delivery of weapons, including eight helicopters, six fighter jets, four fighter-bombers, 150 tanks, 150 personnel carriers mounted with machine guns, 10,000 automatic grenade launchers, and 1,000 sniper rifles along with ammunition and mortar shells.
The Libyan ambassador said the weaponry would help the country protect oil fields and monitor borders.
"These requests relate to reinforcing the ability of the Libyan air force so that it may be able to monitor Libya's territory and borders, and prevent the terrorists from reaching oil fields and oil facilities, so that it can protect the fortune and wealth of the country," Dabbashi told the UNSC.
On Monday, Spain asked that the request be put on hold. Britain, France, Chile, Lithuania, New Zealand and the United States backed the request.
According to diplomats, the request for the arms delivery was put on hold, but no date was set for a decision at a later time.
Last week, a UN panel of experts expressed concern that arms shipments to Libya could fall into the hands of militants.
Libya has been fighting ISIL militants in recent weeks.
On March 8, the Takfiri militants decapitated eight Libyan guards during an offensive on an oil field in the center of the country.
Back in February, ISIL released a video purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by the terrorist group in Libya.
Three years after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya is still grappling with insecurity.
The oil-rich country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militant groups that refuse to lay down arms.
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