Egypt has expressed reservations about the United Nations Security Council’s decision Friday to dispose of Libya’s stockpile of chemical weapons offshore, despite voting to allow the decision.
According to the decision drafted by the UK, the international community may assist the Libyan government in getting rid of this chemical weaponry so as to avoid them falling into the hands of radical militants, such as Islamic State (IS).
Voting resulted in the consensus of the 15 member states on the decision, including Egypt. Following this, Egypt’s ambassador to the UN Amr Abul Atta filed a written statement in which he clarified five main concerns Egypt has regarding the decision. One of the main concerns, according to Abul Atta, is that the member states did not have sufficient time to study the content of the decision.
Libyan affairs expert at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies Kamel Abdallah told Daily News Egypt that each country tackles Libya’s situation according to how it views it, ignoring the real facts.
Abdallah said: “Egypt is supporting Khalifa Haftar, commander of Libyan Armed Forces, but is ignoring any lone acts by him that are done without the interim government’s authorisation. Egypt’s support of one side in Libya is the main motive behind it wanting weaponry and arms to remain in the country.”
The amount of chemical weapons in Libya is rather low; however, Libya has a large quantity of other weaponry and arms, he added.
The decision urged the member states to assist the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in safely transferring the chemical weapons out of the state as soon as possible. It also permitted the states in the UN General Assembly to provide support, technical expertise, and financial resources in aiding the complete destruction of these weapons.
Egypt has supported Libya’s right to obtain arms in order to combat terrorism as the presence of militants in the country has significantly increased over the past few years following the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi. Conversely, the international community has generally demanded restraint on arms in Libya, fearing that they could fall into the wrong hands.