Fri, 21 Aug 2020 - 05:00 GMT
FILE - Speaker of Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh Issa - Reuters
CAIRO – 21 August 2020: Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh on Friday hailed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s “brave” stance after a comprehensive ceasefire was announced by conflicting parties in Libya.
Saleh praised Sisi’s efforts that he said aim at achieving stability in Libya.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj announced a ceasefire nationwide. His Interior Minister told Bloomberg that the ceasefire could only happen with support from Egypt, US and Turkey.
Hundreds of people have been killed in continuous battles between the conflicting factions in Libya; the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the Parliament in the east and the Government of National Accord led by Fayez Al-Sarraj and its forces in the west.
Sarraj’s ceasefire has been hailed by many countries, including Egypt Italy and Turkey. Also, the Libyan Parliament announced a ceasefire over challenges facing Libya currently, including coronavirus.
“It must be followed by a serious political dialogue that leads to a settlement,” Fathi Bashaga, Interior Minister at the government of Sarraj added. “Those steps must be taken quickly.”
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi welcomed the cease-fire initiative that has been declared by Libyan Speaker Aguila Saleh and Sarraj, as a way for the departure of all mercenaries in Libya.
“I welcome the statements issued by the Presidential Council and the House of Representatives in Libya to cease fire and stop the military operations in all Libyan territories, as it represents an important step to achieve a political settlement and meet the aspirations of the Libyan people to restore stability and prosperity in Libya and to preserve the capabilities of its people,” President Sisi tweeted on Friday.
Receiving Libyan tribal leaders last July in Cairo, President Sisi has affirmed Egypt’s longstanding support to peaceful solution in Libya through encouraging negotiations between Libyan factions, but said Egypt will not stand idly as it watches activities that threaten Egypt’s national security.
Sisi in June had announced an initiative calling for ceasefire.
However, he announced on July 16, during his meeting with the tribal chiefs, that one of the conflicting parties, definitely referring to the GNA has failed to have the political will to apply ceasefire and stop illegal activities in the country and has fell under control of a forein power, definitely referring to Turkey.
He warned that the Sirte-Jufra red line shall not be crossed, describing it as a call for peace by Egypt to activate the political solution in the country. The Libyan provinces of Sirte and Jufra are both critical for Egypt and the Libyan National Army. They strategically lie in the center of the country. Sirte has most of the country’s oil and is a major point of conflict between the conflicting sides in Egypt, due to a maritime deal between Turkey and the Government of National Accord, which is rejected by the Libyan National Army, Egypt and Europe. Egypt also fears that it can be attacked by jets launching from the Jufra airport.