Kidnap of diplomats hasn’t damaged Egypt-Libya ties: El-Beblawi

Ahram Online, Friday 31 Jan 2014

Libyan PM Ali Zeidan vows to ensure the safety of Egyptian diplomats after recent abductions in Tripoli

Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi
Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi (Photo: AP)

Egyptian interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan stressed the need for mutual cooperation during a meeting in Cairo on Friday.

Zeidan stressed there is co-operation between the two countries in sectors including education and economy, adding that a conference for Libyan investors is being prepared in Cairo.

The conference is a return of the Libyan-Egyptian Business Council which was put on hold after the 2011 uprisings in Egypt and Libya.

Steps are being taken to enhance the work and contract environments for people working in Libya, he added.

Zeidan said Libya has a serious wish to restrict the flow of weapons across the border into Egypt.

Libya's border with Egypt has become a hotspot for arms smuggling following the fall of former Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi's regime in 2011.

Regarding the recent abduction of Egyptian diplomats in Libya, El-Beblawi stressed that it would not affect ties between the countries.

The abduction and freeing of the five diplomats was not linked to the release of Libyan Islamist leader Shaban Hadia aka Abu Obeida El-Zawy who was arrested on 24 January by Egyptian authorities.

Five Egyptian diplomats, including the administrative and cultural attachés, were abducted in Libya last Friday and Saturday by unknown gunmen.

The kidnappers spoke to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel and demanded the release of El-Zawy, the head of the Libyan Revolutionary Operations Chamber.

The abducted diplomats were released on Monday. Later the same, El-Zawy was released.

“Both countries are in a state of revolution, and the revolution has a huge impact on security," added Zeidan.

“There are no guarantees that the abduction incident won’t happen again … however, we’re doing our best to ensure the safety of members of the Egyptian embassy and to preserve security in Libya.”


Short link: