The UN Security Council endorsed a UN-brokered agreement among Libya’s warring factions to form a national unity government, a deal Western powers hope will bring stability and help to combat a growing Islamic State presence, according to Reuters.
Libya’s UN ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said Libyan authorities have no plans to request Western air strikes against Islamic State militants anytime soon, if at all. He dismissed media reports citing him as saying the resolution would lead to a swift Libyan appeal for Western military intervention.
The unanimously adopted resolution, drafted by Britain, made clear that Libya’s future unity government should be the sole representative for the North African country, where competing governments have long vied for power.
Four years after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall, Libya is deeply fractured, with a self-declared government in Tripoli and an internationally recognized one in the east, each backed by coalitions of former rebels and militias. Hardliners in both Libyan factions reject the peace deal.
The resolution said the council welcomed the formation of the so-called Presidency Council in Libya and urged it to a form a unity government within 30 days as called for in last week’s agreement.
It also urged the Presidency Council to finalize interim security arrangements necessary for bringing stability to Libya and called on UN member states to “respond urgently to requests for assistance” from Libya’s unity government.
This did not mean Libya wanted U.S., British, French or other countries conducting bombing sorties against Islamic State militants in Libya.
Dabbashi said Libya may eventually want air support from Western countries in the fight against Islamic State but suggested that such a request, if it comes, was not imminent. The priority was strengthening Libyan security capabilities with Western training and lifting the UN arms embargo, he said.