Egypt to host rival Libyan authorities’ delegations Monday

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Sep 2020

The delegations will meet for the first time in five years in Egypt, under the auspices of the United Nations

File photo from AFP (Khalifa Haftar, the military commander based in the country’s east (Right) and Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj).

Security and military delegations from the two rival authorities in Libya will meet in Egypt’s Red Sea city of Hurghada on Monday, with the aim of reaching a mutual ground and preparing for 5+5 military committee meetings.

The delegations from the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar in the East and the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez Al Sarraj in the West will meet for the first time in five years in Egypt, under the auspices of the United Nations.

Libya has seen years of violence since the ouster of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, with the GNA and the parliament in the east, elected in 2014, vying for power.

A ceasefire was announced by the GNA and the Libyan parliament in separate statements in July.

Egypt has been pushing for a political settlement in Libya and calling for a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of militias and halt 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 “will 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.

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