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Egypt's FM in Tunisia for trilateral talks on Libyan crisis

Ahram Online , Sunday 19 Feb 2017
File photo of Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: AP)
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Tunisia on Saturday to take part in Sunday's tripartite meeting on the Libyan crisis with Tunisian and Algerian counterparts.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abou Zeid said that the Libyan conflict tops Egypt's foreign policy priorities, Al-Ahram daily newspaper reported.

According to a Tunisian foreign ministry statement Friday, the initiative, which was proposed by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, aims to tackle the results of consultations the three countries conducted with Libyan factions to reach a convergence of views between them and lay the foundations for a consensual political solution to the crisis. 

Last week, Cairo has held one more meeting in Cairo with different Libyan political factions, where Egypt stressed optimism a common ground existed for a reaching political end to the stalemate.
In December, Egyptian officials and representatives from multiple Libyan factions issued a declaration of principles and five proposed amendments to the Skhirat agreement during a meeting in Cairo.
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Abu Zeid also said that Shoukry will visit Washington on a two-day visit next week for talks with senior US officials including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Abu Zeid underlined the importance of the US meetings in light of the upcoming Arab League summit in March, explaining this would allow Egypt to present its vision on regional issues and bilateral relations with the new Trump administration.

On the Egyptian-Gulf relations, Abu Zeid stressed that they “follow the framework of ties that bind the two sides.”

He added that the Palestinian cause has always been one of Egypt's priorities, saying that Egypt is committed to the two-state solution.

The foreign ministry spokesman highlighted that Egypt is interested in bolstering economic and commercial relations with Iraq, in reference to the two recent visits of Shoukry to the country.

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