Egypt drops U.N. draft on Libya

The announcement comes after Western powers balked at taking on the local branch of the ISIS

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Egypt said Wednesday a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Libya submitted by Arab states makes no mention of the international military intervention against militants that Cairo originally proposed.

“There is no call for foreign military intervention,” the foreign ministry said of a proposed resolution that would lift a U.N. embargo on arms sales to Libya for the benefit of the country’s internationally recognized government, Agence France-Presse reported.

The announcement comes after Western powers balked at taking on the local branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, which recently beheaded Egyptian Christians in Libya, stressing instead the need for a political solution to the unrest there.

Earlier, Libya called on the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to lift an arms embargo on the country and help it build its army so it can tackle ISIS and other extremist groups.

“Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build or national army’s capacity and this would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons so our army can receive materiel and weapons so as to deal with this rampant terrorism,” Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri told the council.

The Libyan government is allowed to import weapons and related materiel with the approval a U.N. Security Council committee that oversees and arms embargo imposed in 2011.

The U.N. envoy for Libya said Wednesday he was hopeful that a political deal could be reached soon to set up a unity government to end the turmoil engulfing his country.

"I am hopeful that a political agreement can be reached soon. The differences between the parties are not insurmountable," Bernardino Leon told the U.N. Security Council.

Libya has descended into factional fighting, leaving the country almost lawless nearly four years after the fall of longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi. Two competing governments backed by militia brigades are scrambling for control of the oil-producing country and the chaos has created havens for Islamist militants.

The Security Council met to discuss Libya after Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. Egypt responded to the killings with air strikes on Monday on militant camps, training sites and arms storage areas in Libya.

(Reuters, AFP)

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