Egypt's Sisi urges global coalition against Libya's ISIL

Sisi called for lifting an arms embargo imposed on Libyan government

PARIS (AA) – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday called on the UN Security Council to form an international coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group in Libya.

Speaking to French radio, al-Sisi said: "The mission against ISIL militants in Libya is far from over." 

He also called on the UN to adopt a resolution "to form an international coalition to combat ISIL fighters in Libya."

"There is no other choice," asserted the Egyptian leader. "But it is necessary that the Libyan people and government agree with us and ask us to act."

Al-Sisi also said it was necessary to lift an arms embargo imposed on Libya's internationally recognized Tobruk-based government.

"We must lift the embargo imposed on the Libyan government," al-Sisi said.

"When the situation in Libya deteriorated, we warned that there would be a very great danger to security and stability – not only in Libya, but also in neighboring and European countries," he added.

On Monday, the Egyptian army launched a series of airstrikes against ISIL targets in eastern Libya. The strikes came hours after a video appeared to show the execution by the militant group of 21 Egyptian Christians who had travelled to Libya for work.

Libya's internationally-recognized parliament condemned the executions, while the Libyan army said it had coordinated the airstrikes with Egypt's military.

Fractious Libya has remained a source of concern for neighboring Egypt since it descended into chaos following the 2011 ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The Egyptian government – citing security concerns – has also banned its citizens from travelling to neighboring Libya.

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