Cairo supports truce, political settlement in Libya: Egypt's FM tells UN envoy

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 Aug 2020

UN envoy
Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry during his meeting with Stephanie Williams, the UN envoy in Libya in Cairo on 30 August, 2020 (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian foreign ministry official Facebook page)

Cairo supports any step to reach a truce and a political settlement in Libya that achieves security and stability for the Libyan people, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Stephanie Williams, the deputy head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for political affairs during a meeting in the Egyptian capital on Sunday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement that the meeting tackled the latest developments in Libya and UNSMIL’s vision for ending the crisis in the country.

Shoukry said Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has welcomed the statements issued recently by the Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of the National Accord (GNA) and the House of Representatives on a ceasefire and the halting of military operations in all Libyan territories.

The ceasefire was announced by the GNA and the Libyan parliament in separate statements almost two weeks ago.

Shoukry said Egypt supports reaching a political solution that preserves the unity and territorial integrity of Libya and restores the role of state institutions. The FM also said that Egypt supports countering terrorist groups and the destructive foreign interference that is worsening the situation in the country.

He expressed his appreciation for the efforts exerted on the economic track, which aim to achieve an understanding concerning managing and distributing wealth in a fair manner that preserves the capabilities and resources of the Libyan people.

Shoukry stressed Egypt's keenness to continue coordination with the UN mission to reach a political solution in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and the outcomes of the Berlin conference.

In June, Egypt proposed a peace initiative dubbed the Cairo Declaration, which was based on the conclusion of the Berlin conference. It proposed a ceasefire and the election of a leadership council.

Libya has seen years of violence since the ouster of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, with the GNA and the parliament in the east, elected in 2014, vying for power.

Egypt, the UAE and Russia are backing Libyan General Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, while Turkey and Qatar support the Tripoli-based GNA.

Earlier this year, Turkey started importing thousands of mercenaries from Syria into Libya to bolster the GNA government.

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