Libyan hopes pinned on Egypt to combat Turkish intervention: lawmakers



Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 02:39 GMT


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 02:39 GMT

Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

CAIRO – 13 July 2019: A number of Libyan lawmakers meeting in Cairo have praised Egypt’s “wise leadership” in mediating talks between various Libyan factions, pinning their hopes on Egyptian role to combat Turkish intervention in Tripoli.

This comes on the sidelines of the one-week meetings sponsored by Cairo to bring different parties from east, west and south of Libya for talks held the Egyptian National Committee on Libyan Affairs. The talks are part of a series of meetings held by the committee to achieve stability and unity of the Libyan army.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

WhatsApp Image 2019-07-13 at 10.43.58 AM
Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

The Libyan parliamentarian delegation has arrived in Cairo for the reconciliation meetings, and embarked their trip with a visit to the Egyptian House of Representatives.

“Egyptian people have historical stances with its Libyan counterpart…both countries are geographical partners…and when the [Libyan] crisis ends, we will return the favor,” said Libyan lawmaker Abdel Moteleb Thabet.

Thabet went on saying that “he looks up for Egypt to play a role against Turkish expansion in the region as it reaches its final station in Tripoli,” adding that Turkey’s attempts to interfere in the region were foiled several times, “with the collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood group in both Egypt and Syria.”

Libyan PM Thabet further said that “Erdogan is supporting all terrorist groups with weapons and logistic equipment.”

In 2013, Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, and Libyan followed suit along with other Arab countries.

“The Libyan parliamentarian designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization, and whoever deals with it [the Brotherhood] will know that it serves foreign agenda,” Thabet added.

He explained that the delegation’s visit aims to support the road map in Libya, assuring that the talks tackle Libya’s stability, support for military institution led by Maj. Gen. Khalifa Haftar, and enhancing the role of the Libyan Parliament, which is the sole legislative body in the North African state.

In the same context, Libyan lawmaker Ebtesam el-Rabeiy said that “the shady role of Turkey in Libya, as it supports militias with weapons and funds, has become familiar to everyone, as it causes deaths, and negatively affects Libya’s security and stability.”

She continued, “Our priority lies in eradicating terrorism in Libya. We, as parliamentarians, look up for Egypt’s role in supporting us [Libyans] on the international and African levels."

Turkish interference

During a Cairo-hosted conference for Libyan powers last month, former Libyan Interior Minister Saleh Ragab accused Turkey and Qatar of smuggling weapons to terrorist groups and militia in Libya to keep fighting against the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tripoli.

The evolution of the Turkish logistic support of militias in Libya has been discussed in a press statement by the Libyan National Army, referring to “[Turkish] use of military aircrafts to transport mercenaries, as well as ships carrying weapons, armored vehicles and ammunition to support terrorism in Libya.”

As a result, the Libyan Army has released instructions to air forces to target Turkish ships and boats inside regional waters.

On the 1st of July, Libyan National Army has announced that Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) targeted the Libyan town of Tarhuna, southeast of Tripoli, in conjunction with Libya’s warnings to Turkey against acts threatening Libyan nationals.

Tarhuna is a prominent city hosting the Libyan armed forces east the country. The unmanned aircrafts are said to be operated remotely by Turkish officers in Tripoli.

Aguila Saleh, the president of the Libyan House of Representatives since 2014, has recently announced a state of mobilization and alert across the Libyan territories in response to the Turkish threats to Libya.

Egypt’s role in Libya

Egypt is a leading a mediator in the Libyan crisis, seeking to achieve stability and unify the military of its western neighbor, which represents a strategic depth of Egypt’s national security.

Thus, Egypt has mediated talks between the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar and controls most of the Eastern Libya, and the Libyan troops of the internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj.

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Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Egypt’s House of Representatives - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today

In August 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi decided to create the National committee on Libyan affairs, led by the armed forces’ chief of staff Mahmoud Hijazi, aiming to hold talks between all Libyan sides.

Egypt aims its concerted efforts to unify the Libyan army would prompt the UN to lift the seven-year long UN arms embargo on the Libyan army.

Egypt has participated actively in all international and regional forums on Libyan affairs, stressing on the need to adhere to a set of principles to reach a solution, namely to respect unity, independence, territorial integrity and to reject any interference in the internal affairs of Libya.

With the aim to restore state authority and build Libyan institutions, Egypt is leading an international endeavour to put the issue of the reconstruction of Libya on the top of the international interest and work on effectively involving the international community and contributing positively to building the future of Libya.



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