Egypt’s Sisi ‘will never tolerate’ terrorist groups in Libya or parties supporting them, stresses political solutions

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 May 2020

(Photo courtesy of the Egyptian presidency spokesman official facebook page)

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has said that Egypt will never show toleration for terrorist organisations or the parties supporting them under any circumstances, in comments on the Libyan crisis.

Egypt supports reaching a political solution to the crisis, as well as preserving Libya's sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity, said El-Sisi, speaking during a virtual meeting on Tuesday of the heads of the African contact group of states on Libya, his spokesman Bassam Rady said.

The meeting tackled the latest developments in Libya and the means of resolving the crisis through strengthening joint African efforts.

El-Sisi also said that Egypt fully supports the Libyan people's will and choices.

He stressed that Egypt rejects any foreign interference in Libya’s domestic affairs, asserting that Libya’s stability is a crucial aspect of Egypt’s national security.

The president argued that African countries should consider fighting terrorism in Libya to be a top priority, as it threatens the stability and security of neighbouring countries and the continent as a whole.

The president also stressed the importance of coordination between the United Nations, Africa, and the international community in Libya.

He said that since the Libyan crisis is considered an Arab-African issue, the African Union and the Arab League should coorindate in their efforts to solve the crisis.

On Monday, forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA) took control of Al-Watiya air base, 125 km from the capital Tripoli, Reuters reported.

The air base has been of strategic importance to the forces loyal to the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, who in April 2019 launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital.

The LNA and its allies still control eastern and southern Libya, which contains most of the country's oil facilities, in addition to the city of Sirte, at the centrepoint of Libya's Mediterranean coastline.

The capture of Al-Watiya marks an advancement for the GNA forces, pushing back Haftar’s LNA and its allies.

Egypt, the UAE and Russia are backing Haftar, while Turkey has been supporting the GNA.

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