Libyan FM: Libya is not on the look for foreign intervention
Russia Today (RT)
Libya does not need any foreign intervention to cope with threats to its security, including terrorism. It just needs better weapons, as well as some help “in training and planning,” the country’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Dairi told RT.
Libya is not going to request foreign airstrikes against terrorist groups. It will ask the UN Security Council to lift restrictions concerning access to “adequate weaponry” imposed on the country’s army, once the government of the national accord is formed, Al-Dairi said in an interview on Sunday with RT.
“However, at this stage, we are not seeking any international intervention,” he said.
The minister also said Libya is not receiving “any tangible support” from Western countries and expressed hope for more support in the future, especially in planning and training. At the same time, he said “a group of Americans” had already arrived at the Al Wattayah military base in the country’s west “to train some Libyan troops.”
The US soldiers that came to the base were allegedly ejected shortly after arriving, according to a Pentagon statement – chased out by local militias.
However, Al-Dairi admitted the current situation in the country “is not conducive to having smoothly working relationships with the outside world” and said he hopes forming the new national unity government will allow the Libyan Army to get the support it “badly needs,” including “adequate” arms supplies.
As for the UN-brokered Libyan deal signed in Morocco on December 17, Al-Dairi expressed optimism that it would work within Libyan communities, as “tribes and civil society groups” are giving legitimacy to the deal with their support.
Some Western countries are preparing for active military engagement in Libya, despite official denials. The UK expects to be asked by the new government to send troops to the country, suggesting that as many as 1000 British soldiers could be deployed alongside special forces personnel.
On December 11, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said international community efforts aimed at defeating Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) should be potentially extended to Libya. French planes had been making surveillance flights over the country a week earlier.
At the same time, Valls ruled out direct military intervention saying Libyans “must find solutions [to their country’s security problems] themselves.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is not considering carrying out airstrikes against IS in Libya, at least until there is an official request for such from a legitimate Libyan government.
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