Libya premier urges lift­ing of arms em­bargo, as­set freeze

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRO— Libya’s new prime min­is­ter called on the international com­mu­nity to help the coun­try bol­ster its fight against ter­ror­ism on Sun­day, urg­ing the lift­ing an arms em­bargo and re­lease of funds that re­main frozen un­der U. N. sanc­tions.

The call was the lat­est move by the head of Libya’s United Na­tions- backed gov­ern­ment to as­sert author­ity, af­ter it be­gan to set up shop in a naval base in the cap­i­tal, Tripoli, since Fayez al- Ser­raj’s re­turn to the coun­try in March. He has been un­able to ex­er­cise much power be­yond his of­fice walls — much like his pre­de­ces­sors.

Speak­ing at the Arab League in Cairo, al- Ser­raj, prime min­is­ter of the U. N.backed Gov­ern­ment of Na­tional Ac­cord, said the Libyan peo­ple were suf­fer­ing and needed both the arms and as­sets to bat­tle the ex­trem­ist Is­lamic state group. “It doesn’t make sense that the international com­mu­nity sup­ports our war against ter­ror­ism, and for­bids us from arm­ing our­selves,” he said.

The Euro­pean Union has been seek­ing to boost alSer­raj’s author­ity. Western na­tions hope that his gov­ern­ment can unite the coun­try in or­der to com­bat an in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful IS af­fil­i­ate there. IS mil­i­tants gained a foothold in Libya amid the power strug­gle and se­cu­rity vac­uum, tak­ing over the cen­tral city of Sirte and car­ry­ing out deadly at­tacks across the coun­try.— AP

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