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Russia backs draft Security Council resolution on Libya, says Egyptian FM

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will visit Moscow for two days starting Tuesday, reports Russia Sputnik news

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Feb 2015
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism at the State Department in Washington February 19, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will travel to Moscow on Tuesday for a two-day visit, Russian state international news service Sputnik reported.

In an interview with Sputnik, Shoukry said the visit would include talks on a UN Security Council resolution on Libya proposed by Jordan at the behest of Egypt. Russia is a permanent member of the UN body.

After the killing of 20 Egyptian Copts by Islamic State militants in Libya and a subsequent Egyptian airstrike on militant targets in the neighbouring country, Egypt is pushing for a resolution to lift an arms embargo on Libya imposed in 2011.

Shoukry expressed his belief that Russia will endorse the draft resolution and stressed the importance of discussions between Egypt and Russia regarding their "shared goals" in Libya and efforts to check the deterioration of the country’s security.

Shoukry flew to New York immediately after the IS video showing the beheading of 20 Egyptian Christians was published, to lobby for an international intervention in Libya.

The resulting draft Egyptian resolution however did not propose a foreign intervention in Libya but instead stopped at proposing an end to the arms embargo, to allow weapons to flow to forces allied with the internationally recognised Libyan government in the east, with whom Egypt coordinated its airstrikes.

Shoukry also said he believes Russia will support Egypt's bid for a non-permanent membership of the Security Council, Sputnik said.

The minister also said the visit is part of a delegation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, including the Egyptian and Palestinian foreign ministers as well as the current head of the OIC, for talks with Russia about the Palestinian crisis and the need to halt Israeli violations.

Shoukry also warned of attempts to Judaize Jerusalem and the obligation of the international community to protect East Jerusalem from occupation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Cairo earlier this month, signing an agreement that will see Russia build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant. There was also discussion of prospective investment projects for Russia in the soon-to-be-established Suez Canal industrial zone.

Egypt signed a preliminary arms deal worth $3.5 billion with Russia in 2014, a move many saw as a sign of waning US influence.

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