Libya asks Britain's Johnson to help lift arms embargo

2017-08-24 06:22
Boris Johnson. (Ben Stansall, AFP)

Boris Johnson. (Ben Stansall, AFP)

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Tripoli - Libya's unity government chief Fayez al-Sarraj urged visiting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday to help lift a United Nations arms embargo in force since the 2011 Libyan revolution.

Sarraj requested "the support of the British government to speed up the lifting of the embargo", according to a unity government statement after their talks in Tripoli.

Sarraj said such a move would help "arm and equip (Libya's) coastguard and border guards to carry out their missions against smugglers, especially people traffickers", it said.

The two discussed the fight against illegal immigration and on cooperation between their two countries in the fields of security, health, energy and education.

Johnson stressed London's support for efforts to reach an agreement between Libya's two rival authorities, the unity government statement added.

Sarraj's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has struggled to impose its authority in Libya in the face of opposition from a rival eastern-based administration backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Sarraj met Haftar near Paris in July in a bid to reach a peace agreement in the conflict-ridden country.

Their commitment to holding elections was endorsed by the UN Security Council, of which Britain is a member.

Johnson last visited Libya in May, holding talks in Tripoli as well as in the eastern city of Tobruk where the rival administration is based.

Read more on:    un  |  boris john­son  |  libya  |  north africa

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