Cairo pushes for political solution to libya crisis away from external interference, Egypt’s FM tells UN Secretary-General

Al Ahram

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry reviewed with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres the country's "patent"stance that supports the Libyan-Libyan political solution, away from external interference seeking to dominate the Libyan people's capabilities, according to a statement released by foreign ministry on Friday.

Speaking to him in a phone call on the day, Shoukry reitarited that Egypt is keen to coordinate permanently with the UN mission in Libya to push for a political solution based on the recent Cairo Declaration and Berlin summit. Last month, Egypt announced a peace initiative dubbed the Cairo Declaration to end the civil war in Libya, proposing a ceasefire and the election of a leadership council.

The minister stressed  during the phone call on the significant role played by the UN to end the crisis in the conflict-torn country, calling on all countries to cooperate to help achieve the goals and the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people. Egypt’s parliament has approved earlier this month the deployment of the country’s armed forces abroad to the national security in the “strategic western direction against the work of armed criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements.”

The decision came days after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned Egypt “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. The oil-rich country has been split since 2014 between rival administrations in the east and west. The eastern government is represented by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar, while the west is represented by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Turkey began earlier this year sending thousands of Syrian jihadists and mercenaries into Libya to back the GNA, and Turkey-backed forces moved earlier this week close to the central city of Sirte as they vowed to capture it from Haftar’s forces.