The U.N. Security Council will meet in an emergency session Wednesday on the crisis in Libya, which comes as Egypt presses the council to take action after the Islamic State group posted a video of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians.
Egypt said Monday it has launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya following the release of the video, marking the first time Cairo has publicly acknowledged taking military action in neighboring Libya, where extremist groups seen as a threat to both countries have taken root in recent years.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a Tuesday radio interview that creating a U.N.-backed coalition was the best course of action to rid Libya of Islamic extremists. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the U.N. envoy to Libya are expected to brief the council Wednesday afternoon in a public meeting.
U.N. diplomats said there had not yet been a proposal for a course of action for Wednesday’s meeting. They also said Libya would need to submit a letter requesting any U.N. support. The British deputy ambassador to the U.N., Peter Wilson, told reporters that his country had not seen such a letter.
“We’re waiting to see what Foreign Minister Shoukry has to say,” Wilson said.
Shoukry was meeting separately with several Security Council members at the U.N. on Tuesday.
Reporting by The Associated Press
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