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Russia, US do not support UK draft resolution on Libya

A UK-drafted resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya at the Security Council was supported by UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame. But Russia and the US will not be supporting the British effort.

Published: April 19, 2019, 7:57 am

    New York

    Salame urged the members of the Security Council to include arms embargo in the final draft as the advance of General Haftar has increased the potential of the influx of weapons. Mortar bombs rained down on a suburb of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in the past few days according to Reuters.

    On Tuesday, the United Kingdom submitted the draft resolution which calls for an immediate ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities in the North African country.

    But the United States and Russia indicated on Friday that they would not support a UNSC resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya.

    The Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Haftar, backed by the parliament ruling the country’s eastern part, has launched an offensive against Tripoli in a bid to drive what he called terrorist forces out of the city.

    Armed forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) launched a military operation against the LNA in response.

    Russia objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his Libyan National Army (LNA) advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said.

    The United States offered no explanation for its refusal to support the draft resolution and neither the United States’ UN mission nor the Russian UN mission responded to a request for comment.

    The UK resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes from the permanent five members to pass. The American reluctance to support the struggling government in Tripoli is in contrast to Washington’s earlier public opposition to Haftar’s offensive, which started while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was visiting Tripoli.

    Some UN diplomats have suggested the United States might be trying to buy time.

    Despite major losses in Syria and Iraq, the ISIS and affilaited terrorist groups pose a serious threat,  Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service said. “They managed to operate their forces based on a network principle. Interconnected and autonomous cells spread from the Middle East to Europe, Central and South East Asia, and major militant groups go deep into the African continent, in particular to Libya,” Alexander Bortnikov warned.

    Some 1 500 foreign terrorists, who took part in combat actions in the Middle East, are in Europe now,  Alexander Bortnikov told a conference on countering international terrorism on Thursday.

    “Some 1 500 out of 5 000 terrorists have arrived in the European Union from the Middle East, according to experts’ estimates. A significant number of them are gunmen, who have been sent by chieftains to Europe to continue terrorist attacks,” Bortnikov told the conference organized by the Commonwealth of Independent States’ Interparliamentary Assembly.

    Russian news agency TASS reported that the FSB chief highlighted the situation in Afghanistan since illegal terrorist groups there are joined by terrorists from Syria, creating a threat for the Central Asian region’s states.

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