By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 11 March 2103:
Prime Minister Ali Zaidan left Tripoli for New York today, Monday. He is to address a . . .[restrict]meeting of the Security Council on Thursday. It has to approve an extension to the mandate of the UN’s Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) which is renewed annually. The current mandate was voted on 12 March last year.
The vote is seen as a formality. “We are not expecting any problems”, a UN official told the Libya Herald today.
Zeidan, whose visit first this is to the UN as head of government, will be briefing the Security Council on what is going on in Libya. He is accompanied by the Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz.
The Prime Minister has already said that he would ask the UN to lift the arms embargo imposed on Libya.
Given present international concerns about security in Libya, it is uncertain whether he will succeed. Last week, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that while Russia would look at ways of easing Libya’s ability to buy arms he made it clear his country would not support a lifting of the embargo. Libya already had too many arms, he said.
However, it is believed that Russia, like other Security Council members, would like to sell arms to Libya.
A year ago, when the Security Council voted to extend UNSMIL’s mandate, former Prime Minster Abdurrahim Al-Kib similarly addressed it.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Tarek Mitri, is altready in New York for this year’s session. [/restrict]