Egypt, Algeria foreign ministers discuss situation in Libya

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed during a meeting with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Conference on Sunday the importance of implementing the UN-brokered Skhirat agreement of 2015 as the cornerstone to restore stability in war-torn Libya, which shares borders with both countries.

The meeting between the two ministers tackled areas of mutual interest between Egypt and Algeria, in addition to the situation in Libya, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

On Saturday, Egypt’s Chief of Staff of The Armed Forces Mahmoud Hegazy discussed with the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Martin Kobler the mechanisms to reach consensus between the numerous rival factions in Libya through the agreed upon declaration of principles, an army spokesman said.

Earlier this month, the Tunisian President Beji Essebsi told Tunisian magazine Leaders that Algeria proposed an initiative to solve the Libyan crisis and that Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria will meet in a trilateral summit to discuss the country’s situation.

Abu Zeid told Ahram Online in early January that he had no details on the date of the proposed summit but that the three countries “would meet soon” in a general meeting with other neighbouring North African countries.

Abu Zeid also confirmed that Egypt is committed to establishing peace in Libya, whether through trilateral talks with Tunisia and Algeria, or in direct dialogue icluding Libya, its neighbouring countries, the United Nations, the African Union or the Arab League.

Last December, Libyan officials and representatives from the country’s various political factions gathered in Cairo, issuing a declaration of principles, along with five proposed amendments to the UN-brokered Skhirat agreement of 2015, which aims to end Libya’s civil war.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed last Thursday in Cairo the latest developments in Libya with the chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council Fayaz Al-Sarraj.

Egypt’s president also received in late 2016 Libya’s House of Representatives speaker Aguila Saleh, who conveyed his intention to call on his country’s parliament to consider the proposed changes to the Skhirat agreement.

The Skhirat agreement, which was reached in Morocco in 2015, mandated the reaching of a peaceful transition of power in Libya and the establishment of a national unity government.

There are currently five proposed amendments in the agreement, including a change in the makeup of the Libyan national dialogue committee to make it easier to achieve balance between the country’s rival factions, a change in the duties of the army commander, and measures to maintain the independence of the armed forces and insulate it from involvement in political disputes.

Libya currently has two parliaments and two rival governments, effectively dividing the country into east and west.

Source: Ahram Online

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