Foreign minister addresses UN Security Council on terrorism in Libya
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry presented recommendations for supporting Libya’s elected officials and confronting the Islamic State to the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) in New York on Wednesday.

Shoukry called on the international community to support Libya’s elected House of Representatives. The Egyptian foreign minister added that, since the February 2011 uprising against Muammar Qadhafi, and the subsequent armed intervention, “We foresaw that the ultimate benefactors in Libya would be the extremists.”

He claimed that “the international community has not acted sufficiently to protect the security of the Libyan people.”

Shoukry told the UNSC that “Egypt had foreseen that extremists would resort to violence after failing to gain a strong foothold through elections. The Egyptian foreign minister commented that Libyan-based jihadis “would pose a threat to international security due to the situation in Libya.”

He warned that if the UN’s member states did not want to witness such terrorism engulfing the Middle East and Europe, the following measures should be adopted by the UNSC.

“We need to actively cooperate to support the Libyan house of representatives in order to combat terrorism all across Libya,” he said.

The foreign minister proposed the following three-point plan: Lifting the embargo on arms sales to Libya, so as to confront terror; imposing a naval blockade on arms in areas outside the control of Libya’s elected authorities, and assisting the Libyan state by coordination with its government against terrorists, seeking its approval or involvement in such actions.

“Egypt will continue to assist these authorities in confronting terrorism,” Shoukry added.

Shoukry also commented, “We were horrified to witness the slaughter of 21 Egyptian citizens on the beach in Sirte. We would like to thank all who support Egypt in this pivotal moment.”

He continued, “However, solidarity and condolences are not enough to confront the existentialist threats we face today. We need concrete measures to confront ISIL and their ilk.”

He claimed, “The blood of Egyptians is precious,” adding that a coordinated international effort is required to fight this scourge, which is affecting all corners of the earth.

“Libya is perhaps the only Arab state where violent extremist political Islam had gained virtually no seats. These extremists have instead resorted to threats, assassinations, attacks on governmental institutions, kidnapping the (Libyan) foreign minister, attacks on embassies, and the assassination of the US ambassador in Benghazi,” he stated.

Shoukry finished his speech by calling for the UN’s full support of the Arab League’s resolutions, which recommend the immediate end of the arms embargo that has been imposed on Libyan authorities.

The foreign minister concluded by saying that Egypt supports the UN’s diplomatic and political efforts to reach a peaceful settlement in Libya, through establishing an inclusive process, bringing all conflicting authorities and parties that have denounced terrorism together.

“I have no doubt that the national unity government will serve in combating terrorism,” he said.


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