02:12 GMT +317 February 2019
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    One of the members of the military protecting a demonstration against candidates for a national unity government proposed by U.N. envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, is pictured in Benghazi, Libya October 23, 2015.

    Egypt Calls on Britain and NATO to Finish Off Botched Job in Libya

    © REUTERS / Esam Omran Al-Fetori
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    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said Britain and other NATO members who took military action to depose Muammar Gaddafi must do more to help prevent the spread of Islamist extremism in Libya.

    His intervention on the subject will be uncomfortable for Cameron, who made much of Britain's role in the NATO campaign to oust Gaddafi from power, leaving Libya in a state of civil war ever since.

    In 2011, the United Nations passed resolution 1973 which called for "an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians, which it said might constitute crimes against humanity"… "imposing a ban on all flights in the country's airspace — a no-fly zone — and tightened sanctions on the Gaddafi regime and its supporters."

    This led to a coalition of forces, including the US, the UK and France leading a NATO military attack to topple Gaddafi, who was eventually killed. Despite the new Libyan government calling for the NATO mission to be extended to the end of 2011, the UN Security Council voted to end NATO's mandate for military action.

    Broken Promises

    In the immediate aftermath of the military intervention Cameron hailed a new era for Libya. "It is great to be here in free Benghazi, and free Libya," UK Prime Minister David Cameron said immediately after Gaddafi was toppled and killed.

    "Your city was an inspiration to the world as you threw off the dictator and chose freedom. People in Britain salute your courage."

    NATO ended its operations over Libya in October 2011 and Libya's new government requested that its mission be extended to the end of the year in order to help stabilize the nation, but the Security Council voted to end NATO's mandate for military action immediately, leaving the country in civil war.

    President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — who is due to meet Cameron in London Thursday — told The Daily Telegraph:

    "Libya is a danger that threatens all of us. If there is no government then this only creates a vacuum where extremists can prosper.

    "It was a mission that was not completely accomplished. What happened was that Libya was left without the leadership when it needed our help most. Now we have the situation where the will of the Libyan people is being held hostage by militant groups."

    "We must support all efforts to help the Libyan people and the Libyan economy.

    "We need to stop the flow of funds and weapons and foreign fighters to the extremists. All the members of NATO — including Britain — who took part in the mission to overthrow Gaddafi need to give their help."

    Egypt bordering Libya means Al-Sisi has every interest in its stabilization. Bringing up the unfinished business of the NATO intervention in the country is bound to embarrass the British Prime Minister, who is keen to build good relations with Egypt.


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    Middle East, NATO, Western meddling, power vacuum, meeting, military operation, civil war, extremists, conflict, intervention, airstrike, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, David Cameron, Libya, United Kingdom, Egypt