Cairo dismisses Tripoli statement about 'mistreatment' of Libyans at Egyptian border

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Jun 2022

Egypt dismissed on Wednesday a statement by Libya’s Tripoli-based government regarding alleged mistreatment of Libyans at an Egyptian border crossing, asserting that it provides all means of care to the Libyan people.

File Photo: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry Headquarters in Cairo. Reuters
File Photo: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry Headquarters in Cairo. Reuters

On Tuesday, the foreign ministry of Libya’s Tripoli-based government released a statement saying it had informed the head of Egypt’s diplomatic mission in Libya, Tamer Mostafa, about the alleged mistreatment.
The Libyan statement added that Mostafa described the alleged mistreatment as “unacceptable” and pledged to submit this complaint to the Egyptian authorities.
However, Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ahmed Hafez has said in a response that Mostafa made no such comments, and asserted that Egypt provides care to the people of Libya in their “second country.”
Hafez called for ensuring accuracy regarding the statements circulated about the situation in light of the special Egyptian-Libyan relations.
“It is not surprising that some parties are trying to deal in inaccurate statements in an attempt to divert attention, especially with the 22 June deadline for the roadmap for the Political Dialogue Forum and the mandate of the Libyan National Unity Government,” Hafez said.
Hafez stressed that Egypt continues to support and assist Libya in its attempt to restore security and stability and hold presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible.

The elections will allow the Libyan people to choose leaders who represent them and who have their confidence within a legitimate framework, Hafez added.

Hafez added that the Egyptian-Libyan consular commission should have convened on 24 May to discuss topics related to the Egyptian and Libyan communities in the two countries to overcome current challenges.

However, the meeting was postponed as per Libya’s request, Hafez said, noting that this has been pointed out to the relevant Libyan authorities more than once.

Over the past years, Egypt has worked along with Libyan officials to help find a political settlement to the longstanding crisis in its western neighbour and to bring the country back to the diplomatic track by holding elections.

Egypt has also hosted a set of meetings to bridge the gap between various Libyan parties and to foster dialogue.

Last week, Cairo hosted the latest round of talks between the rival eastern and western military powers (5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission) to unify Libya's armed forces.

The Egyptian capital also hosted the latest round of meetings of the Libyan Constitutional Track Committee, assigned to reach consensus on the Libyan draft constitution.

Political tensions have heightened in Libya since the country’s east-based House of Representatives withdrew its confidence in February from the Government of National Unity (GNU) headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah after it failed to hold presidential elections in December last year.

The HoR formed a new government headed by Fathi Bashagha, a step that Egypt, which has repeatedly called for holding Libyan elections on time, has welcomed. However, Dbeibah has refused to cede power except to an elected government.

Last May, Cairo held intensive talks with Libyan and international parties to prevent possible military escalation in Tripoli, after clashes erupted between armed factions when Bashagha entered the capital in an attempt to seat his government.

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