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Libya's Dabbashi Calls Out UK for Saying Only Ansar al Sharia's Fighting ISIL

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 -- When Libya's long-time representative to the UN Ibrahim Dabbashi spoke in the Security Council after UN envoy Bernardino Leon, he made a point of criticizing “one Permanent member” of the Council for saying that ISIL in Libya is only being fought by Ansar al Sharia, and by implication not by the Tobruk-based government Dabbashi now represents.

   After this open meeting ended, Dabbashi came to the area beside the UNTV stakeout and spoke to the press, specifying that he had been referring to the United Kingdom. (He later added he personally has no problem with UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant.) But he said what he said. Inner City Press video here.

   Inner City Press has asked the UK Mission to the UN for its response and has been pointed to a transcript of  Deputy Permanent Representative Peter Wilson answering this seemingly mis-phrased question:

"the Libyan Ambassador criticized the UK and said that you support Islamic militias and Ansar al sharia - do you want to split Libya?"

DPR Peter Wilson: "No. The clear thing we support the UN lead process to lead to a government of national unity in Libya. Bernadino Leon was very clear. We very strongly support this. This is a Libyan process, for Libyans to come to an agreement themselves about how they wish to govern their country together, and that will enable them to take the fight to ISIL."

  Meanwhile, not all member or even Permanent members believe things must wait for the formation of a unity government. Russia's Vitaly Churkin, also to the side of the UNTV stakeout, said Russia supports the Egyptian and now Jordanian proposal with regard to the arms embargo on the Tobruk government - but add that due to concerns about where the weapons might go, some system of control would be needed but has yet to be established.

  One wanted to ask March's Security Council president Francois Delattre of France about this view and mechanism when he came to the UNTV stakeout.

But he took three questions, handpicked by his Mission -- France 24, Agence France Presse and Voice of America -- declining to answer the Press' question even on Mali (on which he delivered Elements to the Press but took no questions, spokesperson's follow-up added here.)  Watch this site.


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