Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj Says Libya Needs Assistance, Not Intervention

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

In an article written for the UK’s Daily Telegraph on Sunday, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj stated that he did not want foreign intervention, rather requested assistance from the international community in the fight against ISIS.

“When it comes to defeating (ISIS), I remind our friends that this will be achieved by Libyan efforts and without foreign military intervention. We are not asking for foreign boots on the ground, but we are requesting assistance with training, and lifting the arms embargo on Libya.”

Sarraj’s article comes ahead of tomorrow’s Vienna summit on Libya where US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to intervene on behalf of the Presidency Council (PC) to establish some exemptions to the arms embargo on Libya.

“It makes no sense to thwart our efforts when we are embarking on this critical fight against a merciless but vulnerable enemy,” said Sarraj, referring to his military campaign against ISIS .

In his article, Sarraj discusses the goals of his new UN-backed unity government, which include establishing security, and preserving Libyan sovereignty and unity.

He said that his government’s Presidential Council launched the restructuring of the Libyan Armed Forces with the creation of the Presidential Guard and that his government “established a special operations room between Misrata and Sirte, to be followed soon by a central command operations facility.”

In addition, Sarraj was open regarding the “monumental” challenges his government has faced since it arrived in Tripoli at the end of March-including the collapse of Libya’s oil production, the rise in terrorist activity in the country, Libya’s ailing economy, youth unemployment, and most importantly uniting all Libyans to work together.  

“(ISIS) is not our greatest enemy. National division is,” stated Sarraj. “The stark lesson from the past five years of turmoil is that when Libyans fail to work together they empower those who would destroy our country. National unity is the most effective weapon against these nihilistic purveyors of hatred and bloodshed.”

Sarraj ended his article by restating that Libyans must unite and learn the art of political compromise; “This is what we fought for together during the revolution and this is what too many Libyans lost their lives for. The only way to honour the martyrs’ sacrifice is to build a better Libya for all Libyans. In Vienna I will pledge my government’s unswerving commitment to do exactly that with our friends in the international community.”

US Special Forces Aid Libyan Army in Fight Against ISIS

UK Telegraph – PM Fayez al-Sarraj says: ISIS is not our greatest enemy. National division is.