Egypt, Algeria coordinate Libya political settlement

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AUGUST 3, 2017 – The Egyptian and Algerian foreign ministers met Wednesday in Cairo to coordinate efforts over a political settlement in neighboring war-torn Libya.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told a joint press conference with his counterpart Abdelkader Messahel that coordination between the two countries is necessary for reaching a settlement in the country.

“We addressed several regional issues topped by the situation in Libya and its direct effect on security in both Egypt and Algeria,” Shoukry said.

He added that the Egyptian and Algerian visions on Libya’s settlement are “identical.”

For Messahel, who also met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi earlier, said both Algeria and Egypt support a political settlement to be reached by Libyans themselves.

“There is no alternative to a settlement to be reached between Libyans, so we should support our brothers in Libya,” said Messahel.

He said that ongoing meetings between Libyan rivals make a possible settlement more hopeful.

Six years after the 2011 uprising ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi and his life, Libya is currently engaged in a civil war and run by two rival administrations, one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli.

Tobruk’s parliament-backed government was internationally recognized before the Presidential Council was established in 2015 to run a unity government in Tripoli as per a UN-brokered peace deal between Libyan factions reached in Skhirat, Morocco.

Supported by self-proclaimed Libyan national army led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, the government in Tobruk refuses to recognise the UN-backed unity government based in Tripoli, which is known as the Government of National Accord.

Sharing borders with Libya, Egypt and Algeria are concerned about the growing presence of the Islamic State in Libya after its decline in Syria and Iraq.

The terror group poses a direct threat to their national security and to the Arab national security in general.

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