UN Security Council to Hold Emergency Meeting on Libya
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency session Wednesday on the crisis in Libya, a country that has struggled for political stability while militia groups and an internationally backed government battle for power and territory.
The government in neighboring Egypt directed its attention on the situation this week after Islamic State militants beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim told reporters Tuesday in New York that Arab diplomats are working on a resolution that would include measures to halt the flow of weapons to the militias that have persisted since the 2011 ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
He also said a political settlement in Libya, where parallel governments are operating in Tripoli and Tobruk, will not eradicate militant ideology. The draft resolution is not expected to be presented Wednesday.
Putin Calls On Ukraine Troops Encircled at Debaltseve to Surrender
Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on pro-Russian rebels to allow besieged Ukrainian troops safe passage out of the encircled town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine. Speaking Tuesday in the Hungarian capital, Mr. Putin also urged the Kyiv government to allow its troops to surrender.
Mr. Putin spoke alongside Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as fighting raged in Debaltseve, despite an internationally brokered cease-fire announced last week by Mr. Putin and the leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine.
In the news conference, broadcast on Moscow television, Mr. Putin noted that Ukrainian troops were encircled at Debaltseve "about a week before" the truce deal was reached on February 12. He also said that he predicted last week that the encirclement at Debaltseve presaged "one way or another, for some time, that these clashes will continue."
But he said fighting elsewhere in the east had abated since the cease-fire was announced.