Egypt urges 'resolute' stance against parties violating Libya arms embargo

Mohamed Soliman , Saturday 30 Oct 2021

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has called for taking a "resolute" stance against parties violating the United Nations arms embargo to Libya.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with UN special envoy for Libya Jan Kubis. Egyptian foreign ministry

All international efforts must lead to the unconditional and simultaneous exit of all foreign forces from the oil-rich country without exception, Shoukry said at a meeting Saturday with United Nations Special Envoy for Libya Ján Kubiš.

Kubiš is on an official visit to Egypt to participate in a meeting of Libya's 5+5 commission in Cairo to discuss means of expelling the foreign forces Libya.

Shoukry stressed to Kubiš that the foreign presence is a “clear” threat to the sovereignty of the North African country, and has a “direct” impact on the security of Libya's neighbouring countries and regional stability.

A UN report published in March said that the arms embargo imposed on Libya by the UN Security Council in 2011 remains "totally ineffective." Citing a Panel of Experts on Libya, the report added that civilians, including migrants and asylum seekers, continue to suffer widespread rights violations and abuses. 

The arms embargo aims to stem the violence that has affected Libya since 2011 when a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Shoukry and Kubiš also stressed during today's meeting the importance of holding the Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections on time on 24 December in accordance with the political roadmap agreed upon and relevant UN resolutions, according to a statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

They warned against any attempt to delay the elections, saying such a step would have negative repercussions on Libyan security and stability, prolong the country's crisis and compound division.

The long-awaited elections are supposed to help unify the country after years of conflict and division.

In recent years, Libya has been split between two rival east and west-based administrations. Last year, the two camps signed a ceasefire in Geneva; earlier this year, an interim government was established through internationally sponsored negotiations to guide the country towards the December elections. Libya's 5+5 military mission, formed in early 2020, was the agreed third track to ensure the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from Libya.

Additionally, Saturday's meeting witnessed a briefing from the UN envoy on the outcome of his recent contacts with all parties concerned with the Libyan situation.

He expressed his appreciation of Egypt’s efforts to support the country’s stability and support the legitimate aspirations of its people.

In recent months, Egypt hosted a host of meetings to bridge the gap between various Libyan parties and foster dialogue.

Cairo has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya for years, 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.

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