Egypt FM denies Cairo interferes in Libyan affairs

Ahram Online, Thursday 16 Oct 2014

The comments come a day after authorities deny an AP report that Egyptian warplanes hit Libyan militias

Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday that the political situation in Libya "concerns Egypt a lot" but reiterated his denial Egypt is meddlling in Libyan affairs.

Shoukry’s comments to Al Ahram’s Arabic news website come a day after Egypt denied a report by the Associated Press that Egyptian warplanes had hit Libyan Islamist militias posts.

“We hope the international community members support the legitimate government and parliament because this legitimacy could help Libya to get out of the crisis it is passing through,” Shoukry said. He added that “the elected authorities represent the will of the Libyan people and this has to be respected.”

On Wednesday, spokesman for Libyan anti-Islamist movement Operation Dignity, Mohamed El-Hagazi denied that Egyptian airplanes took part in fighting in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Egypt’s presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef also said the news was "completely untrue.”

Libya has witnessed the worst bout of violence since the downfall of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Fighting on the ground between rival militias has been paralleled with a political fight pitting Islamists and the outgoing parliament they brought back to power against an elected non-Islamist parliament and government in Tobruk.

Egypt has been concerned over a possible spillover of violence from neighbouring Libya, particularly militants crossing the border, as it struggles with a low-level Islamist insurgency.

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