Libyan tribes have called for more Egyptian support for its army by pushing to lift the arms embargo on Libya, according to Sheikh Masoud Omar on behalf of Libyan tribes Monday.
He added that support for the Libyan people has also been requested in the opening of the Western border connecting Egypt with Libyan territories.
The comments came during the opening session of the Libyan Tribes leaders’ forum that is taking place over four days between 25-28 May.
Omar added that Egypt’s support for the Libyan government and legitimacy in Libya is “crucial”, as Egypt’s security is part of Libya’s security and vice versa.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s support for the Libyan government during the opening session.
Egypt previously called for the lifting of the embargo on several occasions to allow the Libyan army can defend the country.
The United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya in 2011, prohibiting Libya from exporting all arms and related material. However the embargo is yet to be lifted with the UNSC calling for lifting the terrorist threat while holding the embargo in place.
Egypt hosted the tribal leaders last October to tackle the challenges facing Libya and discuss prospects of unity to overcome the crisis on Libyan territories.
Masoud said that the meeting includes almost all the tribes in Libya in the east, south and west of Libya. The meeting aims to tackle the challenges facing notably the rise of Islamists.
Egypt has imposed travel restrictions on its nationals to Libya, and has been evacuating them from Libyan territories. On several occasions, militant groups have targeted Egyptian nationals, most prominently the beheadings of 20 Coptic Egyptians in mid-February by an “Islamic State” affiliated.
The crisis in Libya has been ongoing since the toppling of former president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Islamist groups have taken control of several areas including Derna, Misrata, Sirte and the capital, Tripoli.
Two entities claiming leadership of Libya have come to the fore in recent times: the internationally recognised government located in Tobruk and led by Abdullah Al-Thinni; and the Islamist government located in Tripoli under the leadership of Khalifa Al-Ghowel.
Egypt has launched airstrikes against Islamic State affiliates in the city of Derna in cooperation with Al-Thinni’s government, to retaliate against the decapitation of its nationals.