Libyan-US agree on need for de-escalation and reopening of oil, resumption of political track

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Sat, 08 Aug 2020 - 12:52 GMT

Egypt also rejected entering into negotiations with these illegal groups and mercenaries regarding the future of Libya. (AFP)

Egypt also rejected entering into negotiations with these illegal groups and mercenaries regarding the future of Libya. (AFP)

CAIRO - 8 August 2020: A US delegation headed by National Security Council Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Miguel Correa and Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, held virtual meetings with Libyan officials on Friday.

 

The discussions that took place separately with the National Security Advisor of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Taj al-Din al-Rezagi and Tobruk based House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Yousef al-Agouri, came to push for tangible and urgent steps to establish a demilitarized zone in Sirte and Jufra, and reopen Libya’s oil sector with full transparency.

 

According to the US embassy website, Correa and Ambassador Norland emphasized the need for a Libyan-led process to reclaim the country’s sovereignty and eject foreign forces.

 

The two sides stressed that the US will continue to actively engage a range of Libyan leaders who are ready to reject harmful foreign interference, de-escalate, and come together to work for a peaceful solution that benefits all Libyans, as said by the embassy.

 

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.

 

In 20 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.
 

 

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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