Egypt envoy urges action against IS

Ambassador Nasser Kamel

The Ambassador of Egypt Nasser Kamel has warned that the Islamic State (IS) threat is “coming closer to Europe” because of a collective failure to “snuff out” the terrorist group.

Responding to reports that IS-inspired militants had beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, Ambassador Kamel said the rise of IS in Libya – bolstered by foreign fighters returning from the conflict in Syria – would trigger both a humanitarian crisis as well as a serious security threat to Europe.

“[There are] boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean,” he said. “In the next few weeks if we do not act together, there will be boats full of terrorists also.”

He said Egypt had been fighting IS in the country’s northern Sinai region, and that they were taking on the extremists in Libya.

Egypt’s airstrikes were coordinated with Libya’s internationally recognised government and followed Jordanian strikes against IS targets to avenge the execution of captured Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kasaesbeh. The actions reflect willingness among Arab nations to confront IS militarily.

Meanwhile, Libyan diplomats in London told Embassy that lifting the arms embargo imposed on the country would help build the capacity of the national army so that it could take on ISIS and other extremist militia.