Egypt, Libya to resume flights; first direct one from Tripoli to land in Cairo Wednesday

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 20 Apr 2021

Egypt and Libya have also agreed to the reopening of Egypt's embassy and consulate in Libya after Eid Al-Fitr

Libya's interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah (R) and his Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouly (L) give a joint press conference following their meeting at the prime minister's office in the capital Tripoli on April 20, 2021. AFP

Egypt and Libya agreed on Tuesday to resume flights between the two countries’ capitals, with the first direct flight by a Libyan airliner set to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday,

Interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah announced the resumption of air traffic at a press conference with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in Tripoli.

The two sides have also agreed to reopen Egypt's embassy and consulate in Libya after Eid Al-Fitr, Dbeibah said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Madbouly arrived in Tripoli on top of a delegation of 11 ministers on a visit he described as “historic.”

Madbouly said the upcoming period would see a boom in economic and social ties between the two countries, affirming Cairo’s political support to the newly formed Libyan government.

In February, Egypt approved the resumption of flights by Libyan Airlines, which saw a green light for a flight from Benghazi’s Benina International Airport to Alexandria’s Borg Al-Arab airport.

A return of Egypt’s political presence in the Libyan capital comes months after Egypt sent in February a delegation to explore the possibility of reopening its embassy and consulate in the country.

Egypt shut its embassy and consulate in Libya in January 2014 after the kidnapping of four Egyptian staff from the embassy by gunmen and an attack on the consulate.

Both incidents came amid the violent turmoil Libya had been mired in since 2011 following the ouster and murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi on the heels of a NATO-backed uprising.

The interest in resuming an Egyptian presence in the neighboring country comes on the back of the latest developments, which culminated in the election of an executive authority to guide the country until legislative elections are held by the end of the current year.

Egypt has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya for years, calling for a ceasefire, a complete disarming of militias, an end to foreign intervention in the country, as well as a fair distribution of wealth between various regions in the country.

In a critical step towards unifying the nation, various delegates from Libya's warring factions selected earlier this year a new unified interim executive authority comprising four leaders to guide the oil-rich country through to the national elections in December. 

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