Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during his meeting with the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and the head of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh in Cairo on Wednesday (photo courtesy of Presidential Spokesperson)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed on Wednesday the latest developments in Libya with the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and the head of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh, a statement by the Egyptian presidency said.
Haftar and Saleh arrived in Cairo on Tuesday.
The statement said the meeting was held as part of continuous Egyptian efforts to achieve security and stability for the brotherly Libyan state and provide support for its people in the face of terrorist organisations, militias, and foreign interference.
Libya has been split since 2014 between two rival administrations: the LNA, led by Haftar, in the east, and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, headed by its premier Fayez Al-Sarraj.
El-Sisi reaffirmed during the meeting Egypt's steadfast stance in supporting the political solution to the Libyan crisis, away from foreign interference, and welcoming any positive steps that lead to peace, construction and development, the statement said.
The statement said that El-Sisi was briefed during the meeting on developments in Libya, the efforts of parties to implement a ceasefire, and Libyan efforts to advance the peace process under the auspices of the United Nations.
Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said El-Sisi welcomed the outcomes of recent international and regional meetings stressing the establishment of peace and activating the paths of a comprehensive political solution.
Egypt has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya and calling for a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of militias, an end to foreign intervention in the country, as well as the fair distribution of wealth.
The president hailed Saleh’s efforts to support a political track and unify the executive and legislative institutions in Libya in addition to Haftar’s LNA endeavours to combat terrorism and his commitment to the ceasefire.
El-Sisi called on all Libyan parties to engage positively in the path leading to the presidential and parliamentary elections based on the conclusions of the Berlin Summit held under the auspices of the United Nations and the "Cairo Declaration", which will allow the Libyan people to achieve stability, prosperity and development.
Al-Sarraj announced last week his desire to resign as “he wants to hand over power to a new administration next month” amid inter-Libyan peace talks in Geneva.
In June, Egypt proposed a peace initiative dubbed the Cairo Declaration, based on the conclusions of the Berlin conference. It proposed a ceasefire and the election of a leadership council.
A month later, the Egyptian parliament approved 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 criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements.”
The decision came after 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. He stressed, however, that a military solution in Libya would be Egypt’s last resort to safeguard its security.
Rady added that Libyan officials have expressed their honour to meet El-Sisi out of their appreciation for the pivotal and critical Egyptian role in stabilising the foundations of in Libya and preserving the capabilities of the Libyan people.