External parties must cease attempts to divert Libya's political process: Egypt FM to UN envoy

Habiba Hamdy , Tuesday 7 Feb 2023

Some external parties have to cease attempts to divert Libya's political process to suit their interests, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a meeting on Tuesday with UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Abdoulaye Bathily.



The Egyptian top diplomat also stressed the necessity of not allowing "any internal Libyan party to hijack the political process through imposing a fait accompli."

Moreover, Shoukry briefed Bathily on the developments of the constitutional track in light of the successive meetings Cairo recently hosted, stressing the importance of successfully concluding this track under the auspices of the UNSMIL in preparation for holding legislative and presidential elections simultaneously without delay.

In early January, Egypt facilitated a meeting in Cairo between rival Libyan leaders, Speaker of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and Head of Higher Council of State Khaled Al-Mishri.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the outcomes of the meeting, describing it as an “important step” towards holding presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously as soon as possible.

"Egypt will always remain supportive of the choices of the Libyan people and the role of the Libyan institutions in a way that leads to achieving security, stability, and unity in Libya," the foreign ministry said at the time.

Libya has witnessed a political stalemate since it failed to hold long-awaited elections in December 2021.

The country is currently divided between two rival governments; one based in Tripoli, led by Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, and the other appointed by the east-based parliament and led by Fathi Bashagha.

Bathily stated on Tuesday that the UNSMIL stressed to all relevant parties that the "key" to Libya's solution lies in the hands of the Libyans, calling on all parties to show flexibility regarding the few remaining issues in the constitutional track.

Earlier in the day, Bathily stressed during a meeting of the Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), which is being hosted by Cairo for two days, that the security track “is an important pillar” to pave the way for establishing a favourable political and economic environment in Libya, according to MENA.

The meeting of the JMC, which aims to discuss the departure plan of mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya, saw the participation of Bathily and representatives of Libya's neighbouring countries – Sudan, Chad, and Niger.

During his meeting with Shoukry, Bathily thanked Egypt for its efforts in resolving the Libyan crisis as it pertains to the JMC, the country's constitutional track, as well as the Libyan Economic Working Group, according to Abu Zeid.

Bathily added that it is necessary for Egypt to maintain open communication and coordination with the UN in order to provide proper support to Libya to guarantee the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the exit of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country in line with the Security Council resolutions, the spokesperson said.

Furthermore, Bathily affirmed his interest in "continuous coordination" with Egypt in light of its pivotal role in bringing stability to Libya.

Short link: