Arab foreign ministers urged the international community to not intervene in Libya and stop supplying any militias in the country with any kind of arms.
During their unusual meeting in Cairo on Saturday, the Arab ministers put an emphasis on addressing terrorism and supporting the Libyan army in its battle against the Islamic State (IS) and Ansar Al-Shari’a.
The final statement called on Arab countries to politically and financially support the new Government of National Accord (GNA), as the only legitimate body in Libya, to enforce security institutions.
In an attempt to help the new GNA, some world powers, including the US, said they would consider lifting the arms embargo on Libya upon the request of the GNA in order to enforce its control in preventing the spread of terrorism across the nation.
US secretary of state John Kerry said the request is logical, but it needs to be considered carefully. “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.
Egypt has urged the international community several times to lift the embargo on the Libyan national army.
The embargo was put in place by the UN in 2011 amid the security unrest after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.
Last March, the UN renewed a decision to lift the embargo on arms to Libya.
The new GNA, an interim government supported by the United Nations, is fighting for a fortified position in the capital, Tripoli, amid threats from several militant groups, including IS.
Several international reports spoke about the possibility of an international intervention in Libya to stop the spread of IS militia. However, prime minister Fayez Al-Sarraj told a British newspaper previously that he does not want any intervention in Libya. “No boots on the ground,” he said.
Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said a small US force in Libya is carrying out some intelligence missions to collect information about IS in Libya. Cook said Monday that the goal of US forces there is to identify the real players on the ground.
US troops are working in two locations in Libya to gain local acceptance for an international intervention, reported the Washington Post, citing anonymous US officials.