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Arms sales to Libya draw congressional skepticism

The United Nations is ready to lift the arms embargo on Libya. Congress, not so much.
Libyan military vehicles are pictured at a checkpoint in Wadi Bey, west of the Islamic State-held city of Sirte, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny - RTX28G1V

The United Nations' readiness to lift the international arms embargo on Libya landed with a thud in Congress, where lawmakers were either blindsided by the announcement or downright skeptical.

A grand coalition including the United States, European Union, African Union, League of Arab States and several of Libya's neighbors came together May 16 in Vienna to endorse the coalition Government of National Accord in Tripoli and urge the UN to relax the embargo that has been in place since the 2011 uprising. Many lawmakers, however, remain concerned that blanket support for the fledgling government could lead to weapons ending up in the wrong hands and perhaps trigger greater US involvement in that country's messy conflict.

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