Libya

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Independent, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to secure the stockpiles of weaponry in Libya which are left over from the 2011 revolution, including surface-to-air rocket launchers; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The vast unsecured stockpiles of Qadhafi-era weapons and ammunition are a threat to the political transition in Libya, endangering its stability and security, as well as that of the region.

The British Government has been working closely with international partners, including the UN, to help the Libyan authorities secure and dismantle the weapons stockpiles. We have committed £9 million of our £62.5 million Security, Justice and Defence Programme, plus a further £1 million contribution to the UN Mine Action Service Trust Fund, to fund projects in this area. We have also funded a Senior Disarmament Adviser to work with the Libyan Ministry of Defence on disarmament issues. However, following our embassy's withdrawal from Tripoli on 5 August, this work has been temporarily suspended. We hope to be able to return to Libya at the earliest opportunity to continue this important work.

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