The United States and other world powers are prepared to boost the fight against Isis in Libya by sending arms to aid the country's internationally recognised government.

The US, the four other permanent UN Security Council members and more than 15 other nations said they would approve exemptions to a United Nations arms embargo to allow military sales and aid to Libya's so-called "Government of National Accord."

In a joint communique, the nations said that while the broader embargo will remain in place, they are "ready to respond to the Libyan Government's requests for training and equipping" government forces.

"We will fully support these efforts while continuing to reinforce the UN arms embargo," the communique said.


With support from all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the plan is unlikely to face significant opposition from any quarter.

The communique was issued at the end of the talks that gathered US Secretary of State John Kerry and top officials from more than 20 other nations to discuss ways to strengthen Libya's fledgling Government.

The move reflects worries over a widening presence of Isis (Islamic State) militants in Libya, which has been divided between rival administrations and plagued by increased lawlessness.

In February, US President Barack Obama urged greater efforts to keep Isis from "digging in" across Libya.

A major complication in Libya is identifying which groups will align themselves with the unity Government.

US Special Operations troops have been stationed at two outposts in eastern and western Libya since late 2015, tasked with lining up local partners in advance of a possible offensive against Isis, US officials said last week.

A US air attack in February targeted a suspected Isis camp, killing at least 40 people including a senior operative, Noureddine Chouchane, who was linked to attacks against Western tourists in neighbouring Tunisia.

- Washington Post, AP