Egypt keen to ward off danger to its national security, help Libyans reach political solution: FM

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Wed, 29 Jul 2020 - 08:48 GMT

Military vehicles of members of the Libyan GNA forces head out from Misrata to the front line in Tripoli, Misrata, Libya May 10, 2019. Reuters/Ayman Al-Sahili

Military vehicles of members of the Libyan GNA forces head out from Misrata to the front line in Tripoli, Misrata, Libya May 10, 2019. Reuters/Ayman Al-Sahili

CAIRO – 29 July 2020: Egypt is keen to help Libyan brothers to find a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in their country, which would restore stability and undermine the impact of terrorist organizations in Libya and neighboring states, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday.

 

Libya is suffering a severe division between two factions; the Libyan Parliament and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the east and the GNA led by Fayez Al-Sarraj. The latter is internationally recognized but is not accepted by the Parliament.

 

Hundreds were killed in continuous battles between the LNA and the forces of the GNA, over the past year.

 

Making a phone call with his Congolese counterpart, Jean-Claude Gakosso, Shoukry affirmed that Egypt will not allow its national security to be endangered as a result of developments in Libya and that it will take all measures to protect its interests and security, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

 

Congo is the incumbent president of the African Union's high-level committee on Libya.

 

The ministers agreed to continue coordination within the framework of the “important” role the African Union plays in the Libyan crisis, with the aim of achieving a solution that is desired by all Libyans.

 

In an earlier meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan in Egypt, Shoukry said his country has been targeted by terrorist organizations from Libya.

 

Shoukry added that Egypt has held talks with brothers in the Arab countries and international partners to highlight Egypt’s stance on achieving peace and stability in Libya within the framework of the ceasefire.

 

Shoukry explained that Cairo seeks to stabilize the situation and to stop the military escalation.

 

He added that the Presidential Council must be reconstituted in the presence of a government that provides services to the Libyan people under the supervision of the Libyan Parliament.

 

Earlier in July, the Egyptian House of Representatives has authorized President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to “take necessary measures” to protect national security, giving a green light for the president to send troops to Libya.

 

This came in a closed session on protecting the Egyptian and Libyan national security against terror threats. The session was attended only by the Parliament members and the general secretariat of the House.

 

Earlier, Sisi said at a meeting with Libyan tribal chiefs in Egypt that any Egyptian military intervention in Libya may only materialize upon a request by the Libyan people and a permission from the Egyptian House.

 

According to Article 152 of the Egyptian constitution, the state has to seek the Parliament’s approval before declaring war or sending its forces in combat missions.

 

The Egyptian army’s planned intervention in Libya has been justified by the presence of militias in the war-torn country, which allegedly threatens the national security of both Libya and its eastern neighbor, Egypt.

 

During his meeting with the tribal chiefs on July 16, Sisi said Egypt has always stood by a peaceful solution in Libya through encouraging negotiations between Libyan factions. However, it will not stand idly as it watches activities that threaten Egypt’s national security.

 

“Egypt has the strongest Army in the region and Africa,” he said, adding that it is, however, wise and does not assail or invade other territories.

 

He noted that in case the Egyptian forces entered Libya, they will be led by tribal leaders carrying the Libyan flag. He added that the army intervention in Libya has to be approved by the Egyptian House of Representatives.

 

Sisi promised that Egypt will intervene "only at the Libyans' request and withdraw upon their order.”

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