FILE - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrives at Beijing International Airport before the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), September 1 – Reuters
CAIRO – 12 November 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi headed Monday, Nov. 12 to the Italian city of Palermo to participate in a two-day summit on the Libyan crisis, with the aim of reuniting the war-torn country's institutions.
Many of Libya's leading factions are set to attend the meeting. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Monday that he expects that commander Khalifa Haftar will join the summit.
In an interview with Italy's La Stampa, Conte said that Haftar is certainly one of the "decisive players" of the North African country's stabilization.
Earlier, President Sisi discussed a number of bilateral issues, and the situation in Libya particularly, in a phone call with Conte.
During the call, Sisi affirmed Egypt's support for efforts aiming at a political settlement to the Libyan crisis, within the framework of Egypt's keenness to preserve Libya's territorial integrity, support its national institutions and respect the Libyan people's will.
In August, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Development Minister Luigi De Mayo asserted that Italy and Egypt aim at achieving national reconciliation and political stability in Libya.
This came during De Mayo's meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli. There is full coordination and cooperation between Egypt and Libya to resolve the Libyan crisis, De Mayo added.
During the World Youth Forum held earlier in November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Sisi called for a partial lift of the arms and equipment embargo on the Libyan army to enable it to play its role in maintaining security and stability.
Egypt supports the Libyan National Army as it is responsible for maintaining security in the brotherly country.
CAIRO – 5 May 2017: Since the February 2011 Revolution that overthrew long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has become the largest security threat facing the Egyptian state.
Libya's four factions that represent most but not all of Libya's rival factions last met in May at the UN-sponsored international conference in Paris that was attended by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The four leaders agreed during the Paris meeting to hold elections on December 10 after a peace conference in Paris aiming at unifying the country. They also agreed to "accept the results of elections, and ensure appropriate funds and strong security arrangements are in place".
European leaders see stabilizing Libya as key to tackling jihadist threats and migration from the fractured country, which has become a departure point for hundreds of thousands of Africans trying to reach Europe.
"I'm optimistic," UN envoy Ghassan Salame told AFP at the end of the talks which he called "historic" because they had brought together the main Libyan protagonists as well as regional countries for the first time.
The Libyan invitees were Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, and 75-year-old Haftar, whose rival Libyan National Army dominates the country's east.