Egypt exerts maximum efforts to return 6 expats held in western Libya ASAP: Foreign Ministry



Fri, 17 Feb 2023 - 12:42 GMT


Fri, 17 Feb 2023 - 12:42 GMT

A photo for Salloum crossing on the Egyptian-Libyan borders - File photo

A photo for Salloum crossing on the Egyptian-Libyan borders - File photo

CAIRO – 17 February 2023: The relevant Egyptian authorities will continue to make maximum efforts to ensure the return of the six citizens held in Libya at the earliest opportunity, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry said the six Egyptians are held in one of the illegal immigration centers that does not fall under the control of the Libyan authorities in western Libya.

The Egyptian Embassy in Tripoli has communicated with the Libyan authorities to intervene to release the citizens, the ministry said.

The consular sector of the ministry has also received the families of the citizens more than once during the past days to follow up on the situation of the citizens and to work on releasing them, the ministry said.

This comes in light of the maximum priority that the ministry attaches to the Egyptians abroad, the statement added.

The ministry and relevant state authorities are following up with deep interest around the clock on the situation of the six Egyptians, the statement said.

Earlier this week, Egyptian MP Mostafa Bakry said in a statement that he has submitted a briefing request for Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on the “abduction” of the six citizens, noting that they are Christians.

Bakry said the citizens were abducted by criminal gangs in Libya for a hefty ransom.

Media outlets also broadcasted phone calls for the abducted citizens with their families, where one of them said the kidnappers request 15,000 Libyan dinars per person (around EGP 100,000).

In Friday’s statement, the ministry said the six Egyptians have departed Egypt with passports that stipulate their presence in eastern Libya only without moving to other regions, stressing that the citizens had pledged to abide by this condition.

The ministry also revealed that some of those expats were present in Libya in 2021 and were subjected to threats that required the ministry to intervene and contact the Libyan authorities to facilitate their deportation and safe return to Egypt.

In this regard, the foreign ministry called for all citizens not to violate the instructions related to travel to Libya and to fully adhere to the areas of presence and movement announced to them before travel.

“This is in order to ensure the safety of all the country’s sons,” the ministry added.

Egypt has maintained good relations with the east-based Libyan House of Representatives and the eastern-based government of Fathi Bashagha. However, western Libya still suffers from the presence of miltias and infighting.

Egypt has also managed to return many citizens who have been kidnapped in Libya over the past few years since the turbulent events in the neighboring country broke out in 2011.



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