By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 6 June 2016:
The EU is seeking a green light from the UN Security Council for its warships . . .[restrict]to crack down on arms smugglers operating into Libya.
The fifteen-member Security Council is likely to vote by the end of the month of a draft resolution being circulated by the UK delegation. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini told the Council today that the Europeans wanted September’s UN anti-people trafficking mandate for Operation Sophia to be extended to allow operations against arms smugglers.
At a press conference afterwards, Mogherini was asked about Russian doubts over the proposal. She pointed out that despite their reservations about the original Operation Sophia, Russia had in the end backed the resolution.
She said that interdicting weapons supplies to Libya would not only help Libya but neighbouring countries. She insisted that the EU would be enforcing the existing 2011 UN embargo on arms supplies to Libya. She added that any action would be “in strong coordination with Libyan prime minister Serraj”.
Later Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin told journalists that Moscow was not opposed in principle to the draft resolution, but care was needed.
He explained: “Everything must be done in a way which does not create any suspicions among any of the Libyan parties”. [/restrict]