Algeria, Tunisia ‘completely understand’ Egyptian airstrikes in Libya: Egypt FM

Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Jun 2017

Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry with his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts in Algiers , Algeria on Monday during their meeting to discuss latest developments in Libya (Photo:Egyptian foreign ministry)

Algeria and Tunisia have expressed “complete understanding” of the Egyptian airstrikes carried out last week against militants in the war-torn country, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in an interview with state-owned news agency MENA on Tuesday.

Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry explained to his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts in a meeting in the Algerian capital on Monday the reasons behind the Egyptian strikes in Derna against militants that Egypt says were involved in a deadly attack last month on Egyptian Christians in Upper Egypt.

Late last month, gunmen attacked a convoy of Christians heading to a monastery in Minya governorate, killing 30 people including women and children.

The militant group Daesh has claimed responsibility of the attack.

Following the attack, Egypt launched a series of airstrikes targeting militants in the Libyan cities of Derna and Jefra in coordination with the Libyan National Army.

On Monday, Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry held a meeting with his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts, FM Khemaies Jhinaoui and FM Ramtane Lamamra, as part of periodical tripartite meetings between the three countries to discuss developments in the Libyan civil conflict.

"Minister Shoukry explained why the airstrikes were carried out and how Egypt has been affected by the lack of security and chaos in Libya," Abu Zeid said.

"The three ministers agreed on the necessity of increasing cooperation in order to secure Libyan borders, as they pose a source of constant danger as long as the situation in Libya remains as is," he added.

The three ministers also agreed that the absence of stability and lack of a political solution to the Libyan conflict are the main sources of problems like irregular migration, the proliferation of arms, and drug trafficking, Abu Zeid said.

The Tunisian and Algerian FMs expressed full solidarity with Egypt in the fight against terrorism, and the three ministers agreed to hold their next meeting to discuss the situation in Libya in Cairo.

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