Egyptian, French Presidents urge ending ‘illegal’ foreign intervention in Libya: Spox

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Wed, 15 Jul 2020 - 10:00 GMT

FILE PHOTO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) meets with France's President Emmanual Macron on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz – SAA/Reuters

FILE PHOTO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) meets with France's President Emmanual Macron on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz – SAA/Reuters

CAIRO – 15 July 2020: Egyptian and French Presidents in a phone call have agreed on the need to undermine illegal foreign intervention in Libya, which takes advantage of armed militias and terrorist organizations for its own gain, the Egyptian Presidency said in a statement.

 

This comes while the head of the Supreme council of the Libyan tribes Sheik Mohamed Al Mesbahi said in June that the Libyan people seek to revive the Arab Joint defense agreement in order to end the Turkish and outlawed militias’ existence on the Libyan soil.

 

During the phone call, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El Sisi and France’s Emmanuel Macron agreed that those who illegally intervene in Libya undermine the stability of Libya and regional security, the Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi said. They also called for continuing coordination between the two countries in the coming period to back efforts aiming at settling the Libyan crisis.

 

Macron, in this regard, praised Egypt’s continuous efforts to enforce security and stability in Libya, within the framework of the Cairo Declaration announced by Sisi in June, as an extension for the outcome of the Berlin Conference in Libya.

 

Sisi and Macron spoke about the crisis previously in June shortly after Sisi announced the Cairo Declaration calling for implementing ceasefire and eradicating the presence of militias in Libya.

 

At the time, Macron welcomed the initiative, noting the importance of reaching a political solution compatible with the relevant United Nations resolutions and international efforts. He hailed the Egyptian efforts aiming at restoring peace in Libya, Radi added.

 

Arab League chief: We reject Turkish interference in Libya

CAIRO, July 15 (MENA) - Arab League (AL) Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit on Wednesday underlined the importance of the Cairo Declaration initiative on Libya that has been announced recently by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. In an interview with MENA board chairman and chief editor, he added that the declaration is outlining a road map for settling the Libyan crisis.

 

Calls for intervention

On Monday, the elected Libyan House of Representatives invited the Egyptian Armed Forces to directly intervene in the country whenever there is a threat to the national security of both states, emphasizing the ongoing Turkish aggression and exquisiteness.

 

On the following day, the Supreme Council of Sheikhs and Lords of Libya supported calls for an Egyptian military intervention in the country to end the Turkish unlawful existence, reported Youm7, an Egyptian private newspaper.

 

The council’s spokesperson Sheikh Al Senousi said in press statements that any Egyptian intervention to protect the national security of both Libya and Egypt is totally justified.

 

Al Senousi added that all the Arab countries should participate in such intervention as Libya is considered to be an Arab cause, an Arab country that is being occupied by foreigners.

 

Al Senousi said that the council will send a delegation to meet the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi in order to discuss the possibility of a military intervention in the face of the Turkish unlawful existence.

 

Cairo Declaration

On June 6, Sisi announced Cairo's plan for a ceasefire in Libya, after a tripartite meeting with commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and Speaker of Libyan Parliament Aqela Saleh.

 

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Sisi said that the political initiative, which he called the “Cairo initiative” would pave the way for a return to normal life in Libya. President Sisi warned against using military tactics to resolve the crisis.

 

A political solution is the only way to resolve the crisis in Libya, Sisi said, adding that Libya's security is a pillar for Egypt's security.

 

All Libyan parties have been asked to partake in the ceasefire, al-Sisi said, adding that LNA Chief Haftar and the eastern parliament head Aguila Saleh are committed to protecting the Libyan people’s best interests.

 

Under the guidelines of the ceasefire, all foreign fighters must withdraw from Libya, he added.

 

For his part, Field Marshal Haftar said that the Turkish intervention in the Libyan conflict reinforced the aggravation of the situation in Libya and threatens stability.

 

Haftar pointed out that the whole world is witnessing Turkey's support for terrorism and the transfer of terrorist elements from one place to another in the Middle East and North Africa, which further complicates the solution to the Libyan crisis. Haftar emphasized Libya's unity and territorial integrity and the elimination of terrorist groups classified by Security Council resolutions, as well as calling for a Libyan dialogue immediately with the participation of all segments of the people.

 

For his part, the Libyan Speaker of Parliament said that the Libyan National Army (LNA) abided by the humanitarian truce, but the Al-Wefaq government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj did not abide by it.

 

Saleh stressed that when the army moved to Tripoli, it was aimed at fighting terrorists, not targeting civilians.

 

Egypt Today sheds the light on the main features of the initiative as follows:

 

* It obliges all foreign parties to remove all foreign mercenaries nationwide and dismantling of militias and a handover of weapons to allow the LNA to cooperate with other security apparatuses to undertake their military duty as well as completing the path of the Military 5 + 5 Commission in Geneva.

 

* The initiative also aims to ensure a fair representation of all three regions of Libya in forming a presidential council, which will be elected by the Libyan people under the supervision of the United Nations for the first time in the country’s history.

 

* The Presidential Council shall take its decisions by a majority, except for sovereign decisions related to the armed forces, which shall be decided upon in the presence of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

 

* Each region should form an electoral college whose members are chosen from the House of Representatives and the state alongside tribal elders and notables, taking into account the representation of women and youth.

 

* The United Nations must supervise the electoral complexes in general to ensure the integrity of the electoral process for selecting candidates for the Presidential Council.

 

* Each region must obtain a proportional number of portfolios according to the population.

 

The transitional period is set to take 18 months, and can be increased by maximum period of six months, during which all Libyan state institutions are re-organized, especially the main economic institutions: the Central Bank, the National Oil Corporation and the Libyan Investment Corporation.

 

* The necessary executive measures must be taken to unify all economic and monetary institutions in eastern, southern and western Libya, and implement structural economic reforms, in addition to preventing Libyan funds from reaching the militias.

 

Legitimate intervention

Later in June, Sisi checked on the forces in the Western Military Zone, telling them, "The Egyptian Army is one of the strongest in the region. Yet, it is a wise army that protects but doesn't threaten, and is able to defend the national security of Egypt within and beyond its borders."

 

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The president said that the Air Force, the Special Forces, and the Border Guards have been securing 1,200 kilometers of borders with Libya for seven years, and accomplishing missions that have not been disclosed.

 

"I'm so happy to meet you today. I got assured about the high status of your combat and technical competence. I see the Air Force and Special Forces are ready to accomplish missions," the president told forces.

 

"Be ready to accomplish any mission whether here within our borders or - if needed – beyond our borders," president Sisi addressed the Air Force elements in the Western Military Zone.

 

Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Radi announced the news saying that Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed Zaki, Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid, and branch commanders were present.

 

The president warned in his speech in Sidi Barani district in Matrouh Governorate bordering Libya against the foreign intervention in Libya for it composes a threat to regional, European, and global security and stability.

 

The president asserted the withdrawal of mercenaries from Libya, and the necessity that militias give up their arms to the Libyan National Army (LNA).

 

"Any direct intervention by Egypt in Libya has become legitimate in line with UNSC resolutions, and upon the call of the legitimate authority in Libya," President Sisi said.

 

The president underlined the outcomes of Germany Conference held in January stating that all foreign powers shall refrain from supplying arms to Libyan armed groups.

 

"If Egypt had illegitimate goals in Libya, we would have intervened years ago. We would not accept that history documents that we intervened in time of Libya's weakness…Jufrah and Sirte are a red line…The current line must be maintained. The party who would not respect it, would attain neither the west nor the east. The political process must go forward," the president tells a representative of Libyan tribes.

 

Additional reporting by Amr Kandil, Noha Al Tawil, Walaa Ali.

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