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Middle East conflicts need political solutions, not force: Egypt's FM

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Jan 2020
Egypt
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (C-R), in the presence of his counterparts Greece's Nikos Dendias (L) France's Jean-Yves Le Drian (C-L) and Cyprus' Nikos Christodoulides (R), speaks to the press following a Ministerial coordination meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 8, 2020 Reuters
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Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday that the current conflicts in the Middle East region need political solutions, not the use of force or radicalism.

In a press conference held in Cairo with his counterparts from France, Greece and Cyprus after a meeting on Libya on Wednesday, Shoukry said that three countries agree that Libyans should be empowered to stop the violence.

"The return to the political path is a must for Libya," Shoukry said during the press conference.

Shoukry added that the recent Turkish agreements and MoUs with the Libyan Government of Accord (GNA) were a violation of international laws, interference in Libyan internal affairs, and an attempt to sabotage Libyan and international efforts to reach a political solution.

Shoukry also said that the current presidential council of Libya has Fayez Al-Sarraj as the sole member, and that the other members have withdrawn.

"Having a government from the Libyan parliament and stopping the military conflict are what Libya's neighbouring countries are trying to achieve," Shoukry said, adding that the Libyan crisis would not be solved by partial solutions.

"We hope that the Libyans reach a political agreement to fix all sorts of problems," he said, adding that Egypt is in full support of the Berlin conference and its goals.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in the press conference that Turkey was violating international law with its actions in Libya and is jeopardising the security of the Eastern Mediterranean.

"The deal between Fayez Al-Sarraj and Turkey is a threat to peace and security," he said.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said that Cyprus has long suffered from Turkey's actions, which have prevented his country from practicing its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"Our vision is to boost security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and uphold respect for international laws and relations with neighbouring countries," Christodoulides said.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that Turkey can play an important in the Eastern Mediterranean if it respects international maritime laws, adding that the new gas explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean have provided increased development opportunities.

"The Libyan crisis will not be solved except by respecting international laws and with a new Libyan national dialogue to pave the road for elections, and this is one of the reasons to support the Berlin conference's goals," Le Drian said.

The French foreign minister added that Wednesday's meeting stressed the importance of unity and stability in Libya as well as a Libyan dialogue with the support of the UN and the African Union.

"We hope that the Berlin conference succeeds in achieving its goals," he said.

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