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Libyan Embassy in Cairo suspends work over 'security reasons'

The embassy denied that members of its diplomatic mission had defected from the UN-backed Government of National Accord

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Dec 2019
The national flag of Libya

The Libyan embassy in Cairo has suspended its work in Egypt until further notice starting Sunday 15 December over “security reasons.”

The embassy announced its closure in a statement published on its official Facebook page on Saturday.

In a separate statement on Sunday, the embassy denied that members of its diplomatic mission had defected from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

It said a statement about the matter, which was reported by Egypt's official news agency MENA, was forged by a group that is not affiliated with the embassy in any way.

MENA had reported that the Libyan diplomatic mission in Egypt announced in a statement on Saturday that it had defected from the GNA headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, and that the mission’s members no longer recognize the GNA after it recently signed “illegitimate agreements” with Turkey, adding that it stands by the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is led by Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar and the elected parliament.

Last month, head of the GNA Al-Serraj signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on security and maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean.

Egypt had officially condemned the signing of the MoUs, saying they violate the Skhirat Agreement, which does not give the prime minister the authority to sign international agreements.

Egypt’s Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal stated yesterday during a meeting with Libyan parliament speaker Aguila Saleh that Egypt considers the Libyan parliament the "only legitimate representative of the Libyan people."

He also announced earlier this month Egypt’s solidarity with the Libyan national parliament and the LNA.

LNA commander Khalifa Haftar announced last Thursday the start of “zero hour” of the battle to take over the Libyan capital Tripoli from the UN-supported GNA.

Fighting intensified between Haftar’s forces and militias affiliated with the GNA during the past days following Haftar’s announcement.

The LNA claims that Haftar’s forces took over Al-Tawghaar town to the south of Tripoli.

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