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Libyan PM Confirms Presence of Chemical Weapons

Libya’s interim prime minister confirms the presence of chemical weapons in Libya, claims the country has no interest in keeping them.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/31/2011, 6:16 AM

Man tries on gas mask (illustrative)
Man tries on gas mask (illustrative)
Flash 90

Libya’s interim prime minister confirmed on Sunday the presence of chemical weapons in Libya, The Associated Press reported.

According to the report, Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said foreign inspectors would arrive later this week to deal with the issue, adding Libya has no interest in keeping such weapons.

We would like to assure you that the new Libya will be a peaceful Libya and that it is in our interest to have no weapons in Libya,” AP quoted Jibril as having told reporters.

Jibril, who has announced his resignation ahead of the formation of a new interim government, did not provide any details about the chemical weapons.

“There are international organizations taking care of this issue,” he said.

Last week, Ian Martin, the UN envoy to Libya, told the UN Security Council that undeclared chemical weapons sites have been located in Libya, expressing concern over command and control of chemical and nuclear material sites.

During the civil war in Libya, it was confirmed that former dictator Muammar Qaddafi had ten tons of mustard gas stockpiled, and it was feared he might use it on opposition forces seeking to bring an end to his regime.

The U.S. State Department later said, however, that it believes the mustard gas stockpiles are secure.

AP reported that a Russian-drafted UN resolution, to be voted on this week, calls on Libyan authorities to destroy stockpiles of chemical weapons in coordination with international authorities.