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Libya military intervention needs UN approval, says Russian FM

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shows the way to his Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui during a meeting in Moscow on March 14, 2016. (AFP photo)

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says any military operation in Libya requires the approval of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Lavrov said during a joint press conference in Moscow with visiting Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui on Monday that  Russia is aware of some plans for military involvement in Libya, but insisted that those plans could be implemented only with the permission of the 15-member council.

“We know about what’s being discussed openly and not so openly on plans of military intervention, including with the situation in Libya. Our common position is that this is possible only under the UN Security Council’s decision,” Lavrov said.

The top Russian diplomat also noted that a possible mandate for an operation against the terrorists in Libya must be defined unambiguously so as not to allow misinterpretations.

Russia says that the US-led military alliance NATO abused a United Nations resolution in 2011 to protect Libyan civilians from slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's forces in order to pursue regime change and political assassinations during a popular uprising across the North African country. 

The remarks come as New York Times recently reported that the Pentagon and the highly secretive Joint Special Operations Command have provided the White House with “the most detailed set of military options yet” in Libya.

France’s Le Monde newspaper also reported last month that the country’s special forces and members of the country's external security agency Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) were in Libya for “clandestine operations” in cooperation with the US and Britain.

This combo image provided by Libya's media shows the aftermath of US airstrikes in the Libyan city of Sabratha, February 19, 2016.

Meanwhile, a UN panel is also investigating claims that Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sudan have violated an existing arms embargo by providing weapons to warring groups operating in Libya. 

In mid-February, Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni accused Ankara of interference in his country’s internal affairs. 

Since 2014, when militants seized the capital Tripoli, Libya has had two parallel parliaments and governments.

Daesh took advantage of the chaos and captured Libya’s northern port city of Sirte in June 2015, almost four months after it announced its presence in the city, and made it the first city to be ruled by the militant group outside of Iraq and Syria.


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