The arms embargo on the Libyan National Army must be lifted in order for it to be able to perform its duties properly, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has said.
During his meeting with the president of the Libyan presidential council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, Al-Sisi said that the Libyan internationally-recognised parliament should vote in the new government of national unity in order to start fighting Islamic State (IS) militants, according to a statement released by the presidency.
All sides in Libya should adhere to the UN-backed plan signed in Morocco, he said.
The two Libyan rival parliaments signed an agreement in Morocco last year backed by the UN to end the conflict in the oil-rich country. Based on this agreement, the Libyan presidential council formed a government of national unity. However, the Tobruk Parliament must vote it in so the government can begin its tasks. Libyan members of parliament have failed to vote for it so far.
Al-Sarraj expressed his willingness to maintain Libya’s state institutions. The new government will confront terror groups which are spreading across Libya, he added.
Libya must cooperate with neighbouring countries in order to fight terrorism, Al-Sarraj said. Libya welcomes any international aid in its counter-terrorism effort so long as there is no interference in Libyan internal affairs, he added.
“We have a strategy to fight terror groups and we welcome the aid of the international community,” Al Sarraj said at a press conference in the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.
Egypt has affirmed the importance of supporting the Libyan National Army in order to fight IS forces several times.
The Libyan National Army is advancing on Sirte which is considered an IS-stronghold. Libyan commandos are now based in Ras Lanof, which could be a point from which to launch attacks on IS locations in Sirte.
Earlier this month, the British minister of foreign affairs Philip Hammond said during a visit to Libya that the international community is ready to help the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), by training Libyan forces.
After several failed attempts to train Libyan forces, Hammond said the circumstances in Libya are now suitable, and the two warring parties have understood that IS forcers are their common enemy.
The Libyan government will receive £10m to support efforts to curtail illegal migration, smuggling, organised crime, and counter-terrorism efforts.
Barack Obama previously stated that stated the United States does not plan to intervene in Libya, but stressed that the US will not allow IS forces to expand further in the country.