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Friday, 24 September 2021

Egypt aspires for terminating Libyan divisions, Sisi tells new leadership

Egypt's Hurghada is hosting a third round of the Libyan dialogue to set a roadmap for the referendum and elections

Ahram Online , Wednesday 10 Feb 2021
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said he hopes the new Libyan leadership will end national divisions. El-Sisi's statement came during phone calls with Mohamed Menfi, head of the newly-formed Libyan Presidency Council, and Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah the newly-selected Libyan interim prime minister, on Wednesday.

During a call with Menfi, El-Sisi said that "Libya, together with its people and neighbours, have suffered as a result of its divisions," read a presidential statement.

No single government has had full control over the oil-rich country since 2011 following the ouster and murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi on the back of the NATO-backed uprising. Since 2015, Libya has been torn between warring administrations, one in the east and one in the west.

In a critical step towards unifying the nation, various delegates from Libya's warring factions selected on Friday a new Libyan unified interim executive authority comprising four leaders to guide the oil-rich country through to national elections in December, with Mohamd Menfi chosen to head the three-member Presidential Council and Dbeibah as interim prime minister.

El-Sisi congratulated Menfi, saying he hopes the selection of the new Libyan leadership will put the war-torn country on the threshold of a new era marked with harmony and unity between Libyan institutions to uphold the country’s interests.

The president reaffirmed that Egypt will keep offering support and assistance for Libya on the economic, security, and military levels, the statement added.

Menfi said Libya appreciates the "brotherly, deep-rooted" ties with Egypt, hoping to bolster bilateral relations in various fields and increase coordination and cooperation on various regional issues of common interest.

He also praised Egypt's contributions to help solve the crisis in Libya, particularly the announcement of the Cairo Declaration, which he said helped reconcile different opinions in Libya, in addition to hosting the constitutional track meetings, which focused on discussing the constitutional basis for the Libyan state administration; and hosting meeting of the 5+5 Military Commission in the Egyptian resort city of Hurghada.

El-Sisi and Menfi agreed to continue coordinating to reinforce the efforts exerted by the Libyan side in leading the transitional phase, the statement added.
In another phone call with Dbeibah, El-Sisi offered his congratulations and asserted Egypt's readiness to fulfil Libya's needs to help restore its stability.

Friday's step came during the Geneva-hosted talks, which witnessed the selection of a new Libyan unified interim executive authority that will remain in power until elections are held on 24 December 2021.

Per the Geneva elections, Menfi, a Libyan diplomat backed by the country’s east, is chairing a presidential council, with two deputies, Abdullah Al-Lafee, an MP from the city of Al-Zawyah representing the west, and Musa Al-Koni, a former member of the incumbent council, representing the south.

The talks also witnessed the selection of Dbeibah, an influential businessmen supported by tribes in the west, as interim prime minister.

The elections step comes a few weeks after Libyan envoys at UN-backed talks in Hurghada agreed to hold a constitutional referendum before the elections in December.
Hurghada is hosting a third round of the Libyan dialogue on the constitutional track to set the "roadmap for the referendum and elections."

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 June, Egypt proposed a peace initiative dubbed the Cairo Declaration, which was based on the conclusion of an earlier Berlin conference. The Cairo Declaration proposed a ceasefire as well as the election of a new leadership council.

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