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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Algeria and Egypt say Libya crisis should be resolved internally

Algerian foreign minister Abdelkader Messahel met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, on Wednesday in Cairo as part of an Arab tour, which started on Sunday

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (R) meets with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelkader Messahel, at Tahrir Palace in Cairo on August 2, 2017. AFP / Mohamed El-Shahed
Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (R) meets with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelkader Messahel, at Tahrir Palace in Cairo on August 2, 2017. AFP / Mohamed El-Shahed

Egypt and Algeria said on Wednesday that the crisis in Libya should be resolved by the Libyan people themselves.

Algerian foreign minister Abdelkader Messahel met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Cairo as part of an Arab tour, which started on Sunday.

The two men discussed the latest regional developments, including the crisis in Libya.

Mr Messahel said his country supports a political solution in Libya that “is agreed on by the Libyan people themselves”.

“Libya has the ability to solve its problems without outside intervention,” he said during a press conference following the meeting. “We do not interfere in others’ affairs, and we refuse that anyone interfere in our affairs.”

“We live in a sensitive region, a targeted region, terrorism is present and terrorism is threatening our security, so no doubt Algeria and Egypt co-ordinate when it comes to these issues.”

Political rivalry and fighting between militias have hampered Libya’s recovery from the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Qaddafi.

ISIL militants have capitalised on the chaos to set up bases in Libya as they are chased from the group's strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

A Libyan ceasefire deal was announced at talks in Paris on Tuesday between Fayez Al Sarraj, prime minister of the UN-backed government in Tripoli, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, chief of the Libyan National Army which is allied to a rival administration in the east of the country.

Mr Shoukry said Algeria and Egypt had the same points of view on the Libyan issue.

“We are keen on the stabilisation and unification of Libya and on finding solutions that are Libyan [by the] Libyan [people],” he said. “We are each working in this frame in complete co-ordination and transparency to reach the goal, which is the return of Libya, its institutions and its ability to fight the threats of terrorism.

“Neither Egypt nor Algeria has selfish interests in Libya, but our only goal is to reach stability for the Libyan people.”

Mr Messahel arrived for his two-day visit in Egypt on Tuesday night after meeting with officials in Saudi Arabia.

According to Algeria’s ministry of foreign affairs, he will also be visiting Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq as part of his tour.