World powers want to arm Libyan govt to fight extremists

Vienna—The United States and other world powers say they are ready to supply Libya’s internationally recognized government with weapons to counter the Daesh and other militant groups gaining footholds in its lawless regions.
The world powers aim to push for exemptions to a UN arms embargo imposed on Libya to keep lethal arms away from Islamic extremists and rival militias vying for power. But in a communique obtained by The Associated Press, the US, four other permanent UN Security Council members and the more than 15 other nations participating at the talks say they are “ready to respond to the Libyan government’s requests for training and equipping” government forces.
“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 arms and material to counter UN-designated terrorist groups and to combat Da’esh throughout the country,” said the communique. “We will fully support these efforts while continuing to reinforce the UN arms embargo.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry and top officials from more than 20 other nations have been conferring on ways to strengthen Libya’s fledgling government. The aim is to give the internationally recognized administration more muscle in fighting Daesh radicals and end its rivalry with a group to the east claiming legitimacy.
Before the meeting, however, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned against undue optimism.—AP

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