Egypt urges U.N. mandate for Libya coalition

The EU said it saw no role for the bloc in any military intervention, but would discuss joint action with Washington and Egypt

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday urged the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution allowing for an international military intervention in troubled Libya, Agence France Presse reported.

“There is no other choice. Taking into account that the Libyan people must agree that we act to restore security and stability,” Sisi said in an interview with French radio Europe 1.

Sisi has repeatedly called for some kind of global intervention in Libya, which has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of Dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

The European Union said Monday it saw no role for the bloc in any military intervention, but would discuss joint action with Washington and Egypt.

“What we are seeing today in Libya is a double threat: it is a threat of a country that is breaking apart and of a country where Daesh is taking power and infiltrating,” said EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

The African Union maintains the only solution for Libya is a political deal.

سامح شكري
سامح شكري

On Monday, Sisi launched air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Libyan city of Derna hours after the extremist group released a gruesome video showing masked militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.

Talking about the airstrikes, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that it was Egypt's right to self-defense.

“Following the video that was released yesterday, a striking and accurate reaction was needed,” Shoukry told Al Arabiya News Channel.

“They [the airstrikes] are part of Egypt's right to self-defense in order protect our children,” he said, “this is a matter that needs to be understood,” he said.

During the interview, Shoukry said Egypt always had “an important role in fighting [ISIS]” given its regional positioning, its military capabilities as well as its religious institutions.

Egypt is not officially a member of the U.S.-led coalition charged with combatting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but it has called on the alliance to broaden the scope of their operations to include Libya.

Shoukry also said that the presence of terror groups such as ISIS in the region is preventing stability in the area.

The latest killings in Libya highlight the growing presence of the extremist group in North Africa.

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