Interview: Fayez al-Sarraj praises Egypt’s role in Libya



Wed, 13 Dec 2017 - 05:00 GMT


Wed, 13 Dec 2017 - 05:00 GMT

Libya Presidential Council Chairman Fayez al-Sarraj during his interview with Egypt Today, December 12, 2017 – Egypt Today/Sami Wahib

Libya Presidential Council Chairman Fayez al-Sarraj during his interview with Egypt Today, December 12, 2017 – Egypt Today/Sami Wahib

CAIRO – 13 December 2017: Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj revealed more details regarding his last meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, which took place on December 10, during an interview with Egypt Today on Tuesday.

Affirming that Egypt supports Libya’s stability and security, Sarraj started describing his visit to Cairo as “positive” and “distinguished”, assuring that several topics were tackled during the bilateral talks including the two states’ economic and security relations.

Egypt’s role in Libya’s reconstruction along with resuming direct flights between Cairo and Tripoli was also discussed during the meeting, Sarraj mentioned.

Commenting on the Libyan military meeting in Cairo last November, Sarraj said that there was no consensus on military positions during the meeting that tackled uniting the Libyan military. “However, we appreciate Egypt’s efforts in unifying the Libyan military in the face of terrorism,” he said.

According to the official statement issued by army spokesman Tamer al-Refae following the meeting last November, the Libyan military officials are supposed to resume their meetings again during the coming period to continue their discussions.

Regarding his visit to the United States Earlier in December, Sarraj said that he traveled per an invitation from his American counterpart Donald Trump. “I held several meetings with a number of officials including defense, state department and treasury ministers. I also meet with a number of congress members,” he added.

He explained further that Libya and the United States agreed on cooperating in several fields including countering international terrorism.

Tripoli security situation

Responding to a question about the current security situation in Tripoli, Sarraj assured that the Libyan forces succeeded in taking serious and positive steps regarding restoring security in the Libyan capital lately.

“We achieved tangible progress regarding Tripoli’s security. We controlled several armed militias and groups and succeeded to integrate them within military and security institutions; however we are sure that the coming period will witness more progress,” Sarraj stated.

Regarding his repeated meetings with the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan Army, Khalifa Haftar, Sarraj said that they have reached ‘positive results’ during their meetings in France and the UAE. “We almost agreed on most of the issues during our meetings. Both of us are open to reaching points of mutual interests. Maybe you think that our steps are slow; however, it’s real and we are determined to achieve it,” he added.

Elections in Libya

In regards to the Libyan Elections, we need to make several amendments to create a transparent political atmosphere suitable for the electoral process in Libya, Sarraj said.

According to his statements, the United Nations envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salama, called for making political amendments last September in order to prepare the country for the upcoming elections. Moreover, Sarraj himself called for elections last June, however, several other actions and procedures must be taken before elections are carried out.

Regarding protecting and supervising the elections, Sarraj said that they have contacted the General Election Commission inside the country to discuss supervising the elections. He also added that the United Nations expressed its willingness to provide technical support to the Commission, as the Interior Ministry will be responsible for protecting the state’s facilities and buildings.

During the interview, Sarraj stressed that his country needs a border security system to offer more protection while facing terrorist and armed groups trying to enter the country. “We have discussed this issue more than once internationally during several diplomatic meeting as we know that it will affect the whole region,” Sarraj said.



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