Egypt's Sisi, Ukraine's Zelensky discuss Libyan crisis

Ahram Online , Saturday 25 Jul 2020

File Photo: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky exchanged viewpoints on the Libyan crisis, stated the Egyptian presidency said.

Egyptian Presidency Spokesman Bassam Rady said El-Sisi received a phone call from Zelensky on Friday, during which they discussed issues of bilateral relations and MidEast developments.

Zelensky said he appreciates Egypt’s efforts to reach political resolutions to various crises in the Middle East.

The Ukrainian president affirmed his country’s desire to bolster relations with Egypt, as it represents a central pillar for the stability and security of the Middle East and the African continent.

He also expressed his aspiration for continued coordination and consultation with Egypt to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.

The phone call is part of intensive communications between Egypt and its international partners to discuss ongoing developments in Libya.

El-Sisi said earlier this month Egypt will send troops into Libya if the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and allied Turkish forces try to seize Sirte, which is located around 900 kilometres from the Egyptian border.

The strategic city, a key gateway to Libya's vital oil fields and facilities, is held by rival forces of military commander Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which is supported by Egypt, the UAE and Russia.

The Egyptian parliament has authorised the move, unanimously approving the deployment of armed forces abroad to defend Egypt’s national security amid the expansion of Libya’s Turkey-backed GNA which has moved fighters to capture the key coastal city of Sirte.

The GNA, with the support of Turkey, recently extended control across most of the territories held by the LNA in northwest Libya, repelling a 14-month offensive by Haftar’s forces to capture Tripoli, and forcing them to pull back east towards Sirte. It said it will advance to capture Sirte and the inland Jufra airbase of the LNA. 

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