Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday called for lifting the seven-year-long UN arms embargo on the Libyan army.
Al-Sisi issued his appeal at a gathering of foreign media figures held on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum now underway in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to Egypt’s official MENA news agency.
"We demand that the [UN] embargo on arming the Libyan army be lifted, even partially, to allow it to strengthen its capabilities," al-Sisi said.
He went on to assert that non-state "armed militias" should play no role in ensuring the region’s security.
Israel’s new favorite: Oman
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Oman, which Tel Aviv does not have diplomatic relations with, reignited the debate about the future of ties between Gulf states and Israel, and thereby the impact this would have on the Palestinian issue. Previously, Yıtzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, also former leaders of Israel, visited Oman in 1994 and 1996, but Netanyahu's visit in late October drew far more attention.Reshaping the Middle EastThroughout history, the Middle East has never before been through such a tumultuous period. The current Middle East is essentially trying to be reshaped today. That is why the relationship developed between actors is now more important than ever. That is why, during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first trip to the Middle East after his election, he stated that it was time for new alliances. The countries and actors that formed a rapport and those that drifted apart must therefore be evaluated carefully.Iran and Palestine are principal mattersThere are two matters that have dominated the international agenda of the Middle East for the past two years. These issues have been held under the spotlight more than the civil war that has ravaged Syria for more than seven years. The first is whether Iran is a threat, and the second is how the lack of a solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict will shape the future. These matters are so deep that even Jamal Khashoggi, who was slain in Istanbul, is not free from these discussions. Because just before his murder, Khashoggi stated that viewing Iran as the main source of the conflicts in the Middle East caused a serious problem and that the pains experienced today were caused by this. According to Khashoggi, the basis of many of the arguments in the Middle East were based on the Israel-Palestine matter.Israel arrests 19 Palestinians in West Bank raidsIs Oman a mediator?There is a rapprochement between Arab countries and Israel that is growing each day in the reshaping Middle East. Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to Israeli airplanes, Arab leaders held secret meetings with Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and finally the Sultan of Oman hosted Netanyahu despite lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Another issue that needs to be noted is that Netanyahu’s visit came just days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas paid a three-day visit to Oman. This situation indicates that Oman is taking on the mediator role. However, this situation should not be explained through mediation alone. It is necessary to recognize that this rapprochement means that the statements which Israel has made over the years regarding improving ties with Arab countries have now been actualized, more than ever before. Israel is legitimizing these moves made based on the common enemy, Iran. In a period where especially the U.S. has demonized Iran, Israel seeks to expand the rift between Muslims by expending chaos in the region.Israel benefitsMuslim communities of the Middle East are entrenched in serious chaos and conflict. Many Muslim countries like Libya, Yemen and Syria are ravaged by war. Despite conducting elections nearly a year ago, Iraq and Lebanon have not been able to form a strong government. Many Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Egypt, have drawn themselves into a number of problems by becoming directly or indirectly involved in the civil wars of their neighbors. In addition to all this chaos, countries have engaged in an arms race by establishing coalitions against each other. When a common enemy is formed, Israel enters these alliances and makes serious gains. While Middle Eastern countries are polarizing among each other in order to overcome the chaos they live in, Israel emerges victorious.Israeli army wounds iconic Palestinian protesterArab nations silencedIsrael opted to maximize its own interests in the region after the Trump administration stepped in. Netanyahu’s Oman visit must be evaluated in this light. With the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement signed in the Obama period, Iran once again became the enemy and began to be perceived as a threat by Middle Eastern states. The fact that Iran is seen as a threat does not only distance the Palestinian issue from the global agenda but also strengthens the position of Israel in this conflict. Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and opening the rights and earnings of refugees to debate can be counted as great victories for Israel during its conflict with Palestine. To pull the U.S. to its side and spread fear among Arab countries by declaring Iran as the common enemy are perhaps the clearest gains of Israel in terms of silencing criticism of its own invasion policies. However, Israel is not just content with these gains, but is also making investments for the future. Oman is one of these investments.Israel is trying to influence OmanOman’s distance from many clashes, especially in the Middle East, makes it a frontrunner for the role of mediator. Oman played a key role in the nuclear treaty with Iran and made a significant contribution to the deal. From this perspective, Oman is expected to become a mediator as the U.S. has lost this role. Israel is trying to direct Oman, which is likely to assume the role of mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, by keeping a grip on it.Iran accuses Israel of failed cyber attackSowing the seeds of harmony or chaos?Netanyahu’s visit was widely covered by Gulf media outlets, and it was evaluated as being significant in terms of Middle Eastern peace. On the contrary, Iranian media, which has good ties with Oman, portrayed the trip as a new seed of chaos. Iranian media stated that this visit would spark conflict and corruption among Muslim countries, and underlined that the Palestinian issue would be overshadowed by these visits and relations. Rather than evaluating this visit as part of an alliance against Iran or as part of such an effort, the Iranian press interpreted it more in the light of the Palestinian issue.Diplomatic success for IsraelIsraeli press evaluated the visit as a strategic move. During the same week, three visits made to Gulf countries at ministerial and prime ministerial levels were highlighted as a diplomatic success. In particular, the symbolic meaning of the recitation of the Israeli national anthem during sporting activities in the United Arab Emirates was noted. Netanyahu's visit to an Iranian friend - Oman - was dubbed as another step in the isolation of Iran and also labeled as important for the continuation of peace and stability in the Middle East.Israel razes Bedouin structures in West Bank
"We support the Libyan army as the national army authorized to maintain order and security," he said.
"The continuation of Libya’s current situation will only attract terrorist elements, which will ultimately serve to threaten Libya's neighbors," he added.
In March of 2011, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1970 imposing an arms embargo on Libya by all UN member states.
Libya has remained dogged by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.
Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily armed militia groups of divergent loyalties.