A quartet of international groups said Saturday it supported efforts by Libya’s unity government to assert control over Tripoli after days of fighting with rival militias.
The Cairo meeting by representatives of the UN, EU, Arab League and African Union came a day after gunmen opened fire at demonstrators protesting against militias in Libya’s capital.
Speaking at a press conference afterward, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said the quartet had followed the “dangerous developments in Tripoli.”
“We agreed on supporting the (UN-backed) presidential council in its efforts to exert security control in the capital, including the implementation of the truce agreement,” Abul Gheit said.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, UN envoy Martin Kobler and African Union Libya envoy Jakaya Kikwete also attended the meeting.
Friday’s protests followed four days of clashes between pro-unity government forces and rival militias.
Kobler said it would not be time to lift an arms embargo on Libya until its armed forces had a clear chain of command. “If you have an army with a clear chain of command, reporting to the supreme command of the army and the presidency council, they are entitled to exemptions from the weapons embargo,” he said.
Meanwhile, a fighter jet of forces loyal to a Libyan military strongman was shot down on Saturday as it attacked terrorist targets in Benghazi, a military source said.
“A MiG-21 was shot down by a heat-seeking missile,” said Mohammad Ghunem, spokesman for the forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is battling to oust militants from Libya’s second city.
“The plane, targeted by terrorist groups, crashed in the district of Suq Al-Hut but its pilot survived.”
He said the jet was hit as it carried out a raid on the last bastion of “extremists” in the city’s Mediterranean seafront district of Al-Saberi.
The pilot, Adel Abdullah Bushisha, was able to eject and landed by parachute in the east of the city, he said. Ghunem said the whole of eastern Libya was now under the control of Haftar’s self-declared Libyan National Army.