Egypt Calls for Int’l Intervention in Libya

Egypt Calls for Int’l Intervention in LibyaEgypt Calls for Int’l Intervention in Libya

Egypt called on the international community on Tuesday to intervene against Islamic State militants in Libya.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that what was happening in Libya was a threat to world peace and security. His remarks came as Egyptian jets bombed IS targets in response to a militant video of the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians, BBC reported.

“We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children,” he said. Asked whether he wanted to see a UN-backed coalition for Libya, he said, “I think there is no choice.”

“We have abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners of the militias ... The militias have to give up their arms and must work in a civil context. We have to disarm and prevent arms from falling into the hands of extremists,” Sisi said.

Sisi, a former defense minister who rose to power in 2013 following the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, also spoke by phone with French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi about the Libya situation.

He sent Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri to New York for consultations with UN officials.

“What is happening in Libya is a threat to international peace and security,” the president said. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “immediate and effective” action was needed and maintaining the status quo constituted a “clear danger”.

It also urged the US-led coalition conducting air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria to give political and material support to Egypt.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Ambassador to the UK, Nasser Kamel, said Libya was a problem for Europe in particular because of its closeness to Italy.

“[There are] boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean,” he said. “In the next few weeks if we do not act together, there will be boats full of terrorists as well.”