The Arab League (AL) has called on its member states to support Libya’s internationally-recognized government and arm its military, which is battling the Takfiri Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.
The 22-nation Arab body, which held an emergency meeting at Libya’s request in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Tuesday, urged its members to act individually or collectively in support of Libya’s official government, which has been based in Libya’s eastern city of Tobruk ever since it was pushed out of the capital, Tripoli, by a rival group last year.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said during the meeting that it was necessary to help “achieve security in Libya.”
Ahead of the meeting, the Tobruk-based Libyan government had called on Arab countries to mount airstrikes against Daesh, which has tightened its grip on the central Libyan city of Sirte.
This is while a rival government based in Tripoli has warned against any “violation of Libya’s sovereignty,” insisting that any action against Daesh should be coordinated with it.
Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi said, following the meeting, that Arab League members had agreed to hold an “important meeting” of their foreign and defense ministers next week to discuss the creation of a joint Arab military force to fight extremists in the region.
Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, leaving a power vacuum with warring sides not strong enough to hold authority.
The North African country has in recent months witnessed an increasing presence of Daesh, whose terror campaign is focused in Iraq and Syria.
Taking advantage of the chaos across Libya, Daesh has established a foothold along the country’s Mediterranean coast.