Egypt, Spain FMs discuss Libyan, Palestinian, Eastern Mediterranean developments

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Aug 2020

Sameh Shoukry.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. Photo: REUTERS
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed during a phone call with his Spanish counterpart Arancha González Laya the importance of confronting the transfer of terrorists and militias into Libya and rejecting foreign interference in the conflict-torn country, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement on wednesday.

The adoption of the Cairo Declaration will grant Libya the peace charted in the Berlin Conference earlier this year and will lead to a comprehensive and sustainable settlement in Egypt’s western neighbour, Shoukry said. 

The Cairo Declaration was drafted in June to end the civil war in Libya. It proposed a ceasefire and the election of a leadership council.

The oil-rich country has been split since 2014 between two rival administrations: the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar in the east, and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west.

Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia support Haftar, while the GNA is backed by Qatar and Turkey.

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

The Egyptian and Spanish foreign ministers also tackled the latest developments of the Palestinian issue during their call late on Tuesday.

Shoukry stressed the importance of reviving the two-state solution under international decisions, calling against unilateral measures that could undermine chances for peace. He referred to Israel's scheme to annex parts of the occupied West Bank under the umbrella of a US-plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The Spanish minister called for containing escalation and prioritising stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region while respecting international laws and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Earlier this week, Egypt said part of a seismic survey planned by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean encroached on its exclusive economic zone and is an “attack on Egypt’s sovereign rights.”

The announcement of the survey, which prepares for potential hydrocarbon exploration in the area, has also escalated tensions between Turkey on one side and Greece and Cyprus on the other.

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