Egypt, France to intensify cooperation for political solution to Libyan crisis


Egyptian President AbdelFattah al-Sisi, and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have agreed to intensify cooperation for a political solution to the crisis in Libya.

Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency Bassam Rady made this known in a statement on Monday.

According to him, during a phone call between the two leaders, al-Sisi highlighted Egypt’s support for the Libyan people in achieving security and stability.

He noted that the Egyptian stance was focused on restoring safety and stability in Libya as well as supporting anti-terrorism efforts, undermining the activities of armed groups, and putting an end to illegal foreign interference in Libya’s domestic affairs.

Egypt is concerned about its 1,200 km western border with Libya where the smuggling of arms and militants has been very active since 2011.

“Al-Sisi and Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shouky recently held a series of consultations with some world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte.

“Others are the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, on ending the conflict in Libya.

Since the ouster and killing of Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011, the North African country has been locked in a civil war that escalated in 2014.

The civil war split power between two rival governments – the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and a government in North-Eastern city of Tobruk, allied with the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar.

Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, France, and Russia support Haftar’s LNA, while the GNA is backed by Italy and Egypt’s regional rivals Turkey and Qatar.

However, Haftar has been leading a military campaign since early April in and around Tripoli, attempting to take over the city and topple the UN-backed government.

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