Libya's PM confirms presence of chemical weapons

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Libya's interim prime minister has confirmed the presence of chemical weapons in Libya and said foreign inspectors would arrive later this week to deal with the issue.

Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said 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," he told reporters yesterday.

Last week, Ian Martin, the top UN envoy to Libya, told the UN Security Council that undeclared chemical weapons sites have been located in Libya.

At the time, he also expressed concern over command and control of chemical and nuclear material sites. 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 organisations taking care of this issue," he said, adding that representatives of those organisations are due to arrive in Libya later in the week.

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.

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