Egypt's FM tells French, German counterparts Libya crisis needs firm response to foreign interference

Ahram Online , Wednesday 22 Jul 2020

Cairo prioritises reaching a ceasefire and a Libyan-Libyan political negotiated solution between the warring forces, Shoukry said

Egypt's foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: AFP)

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told his French and German counterparts that reaching a political solution in conflict-torn Libya requires “firm” response to extremists and foreign interference.

Shoukry discussed the crisis in Libya with France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany’s Heiko Maas in two separate phone calls, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

During the discussions, Shoukry said “reaching the desired political solution requires firmly countering the spread of extremist organisations and foreign interferences in the Libyan territories,” which he said undermine the security of countries on the Mediterranean as well as regional and international stability.

Shoukry said Cairo is giving priority to reaching a ceasefire and a Libyan-Libyan political negotiated solution between the warring forces, the statement said.

He said the Cairo initiative for Libya announced last month, which proposes a ceasefire and an elected leadership council, aims to bring stability to the neighbouring country and eliminate terrorist groups and militias there.

Earlier this week, France, Germany and Italy threatened to impose sanctions on foreign powers violating a United Nations arms embargo in Libya, without naming any.

Egypt’s parliament on Monday approved the deployment of Armed Forces abroad to defend the national security on the “strategic western front against the work of armed criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements.”

The decision came days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned Egypt “will not stand idle” in the face of any attack on Sirte, which he earlier described as a “red line” for Egypt’s national security and warned it could prompt military intervention by Cairo.

The oil-rich country has been split since 2014 between two rival administrations in the east and west with parallel institutions.

The east government is represented by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Commander Khalifa Haftar, while the west is represented by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Egypt, the UAE and Russia back Haftar, while the GNA is supported by Turkey and Qatar.

Turkey began earlier this year sending thousands of Syrian Jihadists and mercenaries into Libya to back the GNA, and Turkey-backed forces moved earlier this week close to the central city of Sirte as they vowed to capture it from Haftar’s forces. 

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