UN security council members say they are ready to respond to request for weapons to combat Isis following Vienna talks
The US and other world powers say they are ready to supply Libyas internationally recognised government with weapons and training to counter the Islamic State.
The decision is stated in a communique prepared for the end of top-level talks in Vienna on Libya and obtained by the Associated Pressbefore its release.
The communique is signed by all five permanent UN security council members the US, Russia, France, UK and China and the more than 15 other countries participating in the talks. It says the signatories are ready to respond to the Libyan governments requests for training and equipping government forces.
Libya is under a UN embargo imposed to keep lethal limbs away from terrorists and contender militias vying for power. The communique says it will push for exemptions from the embargo for the internationally recognised government.
The UN-backed government of Fayez al-Sarraj has been slowly asserting its authority in Tripoli, but it still faces a rival administration in the east.
The Vienna gratifying held under the joint chairmanship of the US and Italy discussed whether to lift selectively an arms embargo so weapons can be sent to the Sarraj government to take on Isis, which claims to run 155 miles of coast from its base in Sirte.
The Government of National Accord has voiced its intention to submit appropriate arms embargo exemption requests to the UN Libya Sanctions Committee to procure necessary lethal limbs and materiel to counter UN-designated terrorist groups and to combat Daesh throughout the country, said the communique, employing an alternate name for Isis. We will fully support these efforts while continuing to reinforce the UN arms embargo.
Libya descended into chaos after the toppling and death of Muammar Gaddafi five years ago and soon turned into a battleground of rival militias. More recently, the power vacuum has allowed Isis radicals to expand their presence, devoting them a potential base in a country segregated from Europe by a relatively small stretch of the Mediterranean Sea.
Also worrying for Europe is the potential threat of a massive influx of refugees amassing in Libya , now that the earlier route from Turkey into Greece has been essentially shut.
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