The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency session Wednesday on the crisis in Libya, a country that has struggled for political stability while militia groups and an internationally backed government battle for power and territory.
The government in neighboring Egypt directed its attention on the situation this week after Islamic State militants beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim told reporters Tuesday in New York that Arab diplomats are working on a resolution that would include measures to halt the flow of weapons to the militias that have persisted since the 2011 ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
“The legitimate government is in dire need of support whether politically or militarily in the provision of equipment that have been restricted by the Security Council so that it can undertake its responsibility to defend the Libyan people and third nationals on Libyan territory,” Selim said.
He also said a political settlement in Libya, where parallel governments are operating in Tripoli and Tobruk, will not eradicate militant ideology. The draft resolution is not expected to be presented Wednesday.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi urged the Security Council on Tuesday to allow international military intervention in Libya, where Egypt launched airstrikes this week targeting the Islamic State group.
U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the massacre of the Egyptians in Libya “a vile crime targeting people on the basis of their religion.” He urged Libyans to unite against extremists who attack people on ethnic and religious grounds.
In Washington, officials from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain strongly condemned all terrorist acts in Libya.
“The heinous murder of 21 Egyptian citizens in Libya by Islamic State affiliated terrorists once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya — the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups,” the officials said in a joint statement.