Political solution is inevitable, Sisi tells Libyan president

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 May 2016

gyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) meeting with Libyan Prime Minister of the UN-backed unity
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on May 7, 2016 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) meeting with Libyan Prime Minister of the UN-backed unity government, Fayez al-Sarraj, in the capital Cairo (Egyptian Presidency)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received on Saturday Libya's head of presidential council and prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj, during which El-Sisi expressed Egypt's faith of the inevitability of a political solution for the Libyan crisis.

According to presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef, El-Sisi welcomed al-Sarraj, stressing the depth and strength of historical relations between Egypt and Libya in a meeting attended by members of the Libyan presidential council, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, and Egypt's Ambassador to Libya. 

El-Sisi referenced Egypt's support of the Libyan Presidential Council and Libyan institutions, including the national army, noting the importance of preserving these institutions to allow it to exert control in Libyan territory, restore security in Libya, and fight terrorism.

El-Sisi also noted the necessity of lifting an arms ban on the Libyan army so it can fully perform security operations as it grapples with a direct confrontation with terrorism on its soil.

Youssef added the Libyan prime minister designate Al-Sarraj expressed his appreciation for Egypt's leading role in the Middle East, considering it a pillar for security and stability.

He stressed that Libya deeply appreciates the continuous Egyptian efforts to establish security and stability in Libya and maintain its safety in the region, the unity of its lands, and preserving the capabilities of its people

Al-Sarraj asserted the Libyan government's keenness on bolstering the Libyan state and securing the integrity of the nation while it faces terrorist groups that aim to destroy the unity of the country and target innocent people.

Youssef added that the present parties reviewed the latest developments in Libya and the efforts being made to bolster Libyan stability. El-Sisi and Al-Sarraj affirmed the importance of working to accomplish a Libyan political consensus through the Libyan Parliament's approval of the unity government with the utmost urgency.

El-Sisi highlighted the urgency of a parallel workflow in the fields of politics and security to prevent an outbreak of terrorism. The president then stressed the importance of executing the Skhirat agreement so the Libyan government could undertake its work efficiently.

Five years after Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi's fall, Libya is deeply fractured, with a self-declared government in Tripoli and an internationally recognised one in the east – each backed by coalitions of former rebels and militias.

The Egyptian president has continually expressed his support for a Libya, while stating that Egypt would not intervene militarily in turmoil-stricken Libya, describing the neighboring country as a "sovereign state."

Egypt has been in coordination with General Khalifa Haftar, who controls militia forces loyal to the internationally recognised government in northeastern Libya.

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