Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has urged the United Nations to adopt a resolution that would allow international forces to mobilize and intervene in Libya.
“We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children,” declared the President in an interview with French radio station Europe 1 ahead of an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday.
The call comes after sixty-four Islamic State fighters were killed and dozens wounded in Egyptian-Libyan military airstrikes.
The airstrikes, Egypt’s first foreign strikes since the Gulf War in 1991, come after ISIS released a video depicting the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians that had been abducted in Libya.
According to Egypt’s military, the airstrikes were carried out in coordination with Libyan officials and targeted multiple ISIS locations, including weapons storage facilities, training points and buildings housing militant
We abandoned the Libyan people
“We abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias,” said the Egyptian President to Europe 1 radio, referring to how the international coalition’s intervention in Libya to oust Muammar Gaddafi was ‘unfinished’.
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi supported President Sisi’s call for an international intervention.
Meanwhile, Egypt signed 5.2 billion euro military defence deal with France, which sees Egypt purchasing 24 Rafaele fighter jets.
The multi-billion-euro deal was signed at the Presidential Palace in Cairo in the presence of the Egyptian President, Egypt’s Defence Minister, and France’s Defence Minister.
“Our two countries are pursuing a common struggle against terrorism,” said France’s Minister of Defence Jean Yves Le Drian.
In late 2014, France had called for renewed international intervention in Libya to fight terrorism.