President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi held a telephone conversation on Saturday with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss recent developments in Libya, according to a presidential statement. Both presidents agreed that they were keen to see a political solution reached in Libya that would pave the way for a return of security and stability in the country and rejected foreign interference in the North African country.
During the call, Al-Sisi reaffirmed Egypt’s position on the Libyan crisis, viewing the importance of restoring its security and ending criminal groups and terrorist militias.
Macron said that he is keen to exchange views and visions with Al-Sisi in light of the pivotal role Egypt plays in the region.
Al-Sisi said that Egypt’s position on Libya puts top priority on combating terrorism and achieving stability and security. It also looks to put an end to illegal foreign intervention in the country, that would continue to exacerbate the current situation. Libya’s continuing instability constitutes a threat to the security and stability of the entire Middle East and Mediterranean region.
The two leaders agreed on the need to intensify coordination on security in the coming period, while stressing the need for a political solution to ending the Libyan crisis. They noted that this can be achieved by supporting the relevant international endeavours, whilst implementing the outputs of the Berlin peace process. There is also a need for a continued rejection of any external interference in this regard.
During the call, the leaders also discussed the recently expanded bilateral relations between the two countries in the recent period.
President Macron stressed France’s wishes to develop joint cooperation with Egypt in various fields. Al-Sisi noted his aspiration to continue working to advance the distinguished relations between the two countries which have been developed at various levels.
The Libya discussions come one day after meetings in Cairo between the Libyan parliamentary speaker Aqila Saleh with a number of Egyptian officials, including Egyptian General Intelligence, Major General Abbas Kamel.
Members of the Libyan Parliament were quoted in local media outlets as saying that Saleh’s visit came at Egypt’s invitation. The meeting was held to support efforts to settle Libya’s political situation, and stop foreign interference.
Saleh has launched an initiative for a just political settlement taking into account a military balance and breaks within the Skhirat agreement. The latter cemented the Islamists’ influence after their coup over the results of the legislative elections, in what was then known as the “dawn coup in Libya ”.
Hamid Al-Safi, media adviser to Saleh, said in press statements on Friday that a high-level delegation from the army’s General Command met with Saleh on Wednesday. The meeting came in light of the latest developments in Tripoli, and to confront and defeat Turkish aggression on Libyan territory.
Despite its pledge at January’s Berlin conference not to interfere in Libyan affairs, Turkey continues to pump equipment to Tripoli.
On 25 May in a speech marking Eid El-Fitr, Saleh called on the Arab League, the UN Security Council and the African Union to assume their responsibilities against the Turkish aggression against his country.
He said he will continue dialogue with the UN, the Security Council and international organisations to convince them of the need for a solution, and withdraw recognition for the so-called Presidential Council.
Saleh said the stalled political process follows the Berlin Conference’s outputs being ignored, alongside various economic problems, and the negative side effects of the coronavirus epidemic.
Saleh reaffirmed support for the Libyan army in combating terrorism, expelling mercenaries and dismantling armed groups and militias controlling the capital.
His comments came only days after the Libyan army announced several initiatives on 20 May which included mitigation of “armed appearances” in Tripoli, and a unilateral ceasefire. The militias have refused to take part in the initiatives.