Egyptian President Says He Supports Interim Libyan Government President Government Libya Government Egypt

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has supported a transitional government that would rule neighboring Libya in elections later this year.

In rare televised comments on Saturday night, el-Sisi said Thursday’s appointment of the interim government, which includes a three-member Presidential Council and a prime minister, was “a step in the right direction.”

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which includes 75 delegates chosen by the UN from across the country, appointed Mohammad Younes Menfi, a Libyan diplomat from the east of the country, as chairman of the Presidential Council. The forum also chose Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah, a powerful businessman from the western city of Misrata, as prime minister.

The three council members each represent a region of ancient Libya: Tripolitania to the west, Cyrenaica to the east and Fezzan to the southwest.

This appointment puts an end to months of talks brokered by the UN which resulted in an agreement on the holding of elections on December 24.

“We support them. … We are ready to cooperate with them for the recovery of Libya and to prepare for the elections in Libya, ”said el-Sisi.

The Egyptian leader said his threat last year to send troops to Libya helped “usher in a period of real peace” in the oil-rich country.

“We want every movement (…) to aim to build peace, prosperity and maintain stability in a region which has suffered over the past 20 years a very great shock,” he said. .

Egypt views the instability in neighboring Libya as a threat to national security.

In June, al-Sisi called the strategic coastal city of Sirte a “red line” and warned that any attack by Turkish-backed Tripoli forces on the city would prompt Egypt to intervene to protect its western border. This move – if it had happened – would have brought Egypt and Turkey, close allies of the United States who support rival parties in the conflict, to a direct confrontation.

Sirte, which lies near Libya’s major oil export terminals and fields, is held by the forces of military commander Khalifa Hifter, a close ally of Egypt, who rules most areas in the east and from southern Libya.

Libya sank into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The country has been divided since 2015 between two governments, one in the east and one in the west, each supported by a range of militias and foreign governments.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates support Hifter’s forces. The government in Tripoli has mainly the backing of Turkey, whose military backing helped cause Hifter’s year-long attempt to capture Tripoli to fail this spring.

The appointment of an interim government was seen as a major, albeit uncertain, step towards the unification of the North African nation.


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