File Photo: Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (R) speaks during a press conference with German foreign minister Heiko Maas (Photo Courtesy of MOFA)
Egypt and Germany stressed the importance of using a fresh ceasefire announcement by Libyan rival parties to reach a comprehensive political settlement to restore security and stability.
According to an official statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry on Saturday, foreign minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the developments in Libya and the Palestinian cause in a phone call with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.
Both Shoukry and Maas agreed that the ceasefire would contribute to combating terrorist groups, foreign interference, and achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people.
The phone call comes one day after Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a ceasefire across the country and called for the demilitarisation of the contested strategic city of Sirte, which is controlled by rival forces.
In a separate statement, Aguila Saleh, speaker of the rival east-based House of Representatives, also called for a ceasefire.
Egypt has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya and calling for a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of militias and an end to foreign intervention in the country, as well as a fair distribution of wealth.
In June, Egypt proposed a peace initiative dubbed the Cairo Declaration, which was based on the conclusion of the Berlin conference. It proposed a ceasefire and the election of a leadership council.
A month later, the Egyptian parliament granted its approval for a potential deployment of the country’s armed forces abroad for the purposes of national security “in the strategic western direction against the work of armed criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements.”
The decision came after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned the country “would not stand idle” in the face of any attack on Libya’s Sirte, which he earlier described as a “red line” for Egypt’s national security.