Arab League to hold urgent meeting on Libya upon Egypt's request on Tuesday

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 Jun 2020

Arab League
File Photo: Arab League in session in its headquarters Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: Reuters)

The Arab League said it will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday upon Egypt’s request to address the recently heightened tensions in the Libyan crisis.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday before it was put off until Tuesday in order for the necessary arrangements to be wrapped up.

The meeting was scheduled a few days after the Arab League said it had received a request from Egypt for an emergency meeting at the ministerial level to discuss the developments in Libya.

The Arab League is also set to host a virtual meeting on Monday by the International Follow Up Committee on Libya (IFCL), an informed source at the Arab League Secretariat said on Sunday.

The meeting, the third by the IFCL since its establishment during the Berlin Conference last February, will tackle the implementation of commitments and goals stipulated in the conference’s resolutions.

The source added that the meeting comes at a “critical time,” as it will review current military and security developments in the country, especially amid escalations in the Libyan city of Sirte.

It will also discuss means of achieving an immediate de-escalation to resume negotiations on a ceasefire between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) under UN sponsorship.

The scheduled meetings come a few days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Cairo has a legitimate right to intervene in the war-torn neighboring country to restore security and stability after receiving "direct threats" from "terrorist militias," stressing that Egypt has long been reluctant to make such a move.

El-Sisi said that any intervention in Libya by Egyptian forces “would be led by the Libyan tribes,” stressing that the Libyan frontline of Sirte and Al-Jufra is “a red line” for Egyptian national security.

Earlier this month, President El-Sisi, commander of the LNA Khalifa Haftar, and the speaker of the Libyan parliament Aguila Saleh announced a peace initiative, dubbed the Cairo Declaration, to end the civil war in Libya through a ceasefire and an elected leadership council.

The Cairo plan comes after the collapse of an offensive launched by Haftar in April 2019 to capture the Libyan capital, further extending the rival GNA control over most of northwestern Libya.

Egypt, the UAE and Russia are backing Haftar in the east, while Turkey supports the Tripoli-based GNA.

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