CAIRO, Egypt, Feb 17 – Arab League chief, Nabil Al-Araby, asserted Egypt’s “legitimate right” to defend itself, after the nation retaliated by bombing Islamic State (IS) targets in Libya, only a day after the militant group beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians there.
“Egypt used the legitimate right of defence, permitted under international law and the United Nations’ Charter article 51. Also, the Arab League Charter ensures this,” he said, when asked of the Arab League’s position on the recent developments.
“The Egyptian government has the right to practice its right of legitimate defence, in facing these awful criminal activities,” the Arab League Secretary General said, calling on Arab states to back the move taken by Cairo.
“The recent terrorist attack on Egyptian nationals in Libya, is an attack on all Egyptians,” added Al-Araby, who pledged support of Egypt’s cooperation on the airstrike with the internationally-backed Libyan government, based in the eastern city of Tobruk.
Based on a defence treaty, proposed between Arab states at a recent Arab League Council session, Al-Araby viewed it necessary to consider adopting the pact, particularly after the incident in Libya.
“It is important that Arab states stand together, not only on tackling terrorism in Libya but on any nation where terrorist organisations are present – Islamic State in particular,” he said.
Following the incident, Egypt requested an urgent meeting of Arab justice and interior ministers, which will call on the nations to put the pact, which is aimed at closer coordination on tackling terrorism, into effect.