United Nations Special Envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon arrived in Cairo on Saturday for talks with officials regarding the situation in neighbouring Libya.
Leon is scheduled to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil El-Araby on Saturday. The meeting comes in the wake of a joint communiqué from leaders of the international community calling for an “unconditional ceasefire” to allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The communiqué, published following a Friday meeting in Paris, called for “the withdrawal of militia groups from cities and airports throughout Libya”. The statement, issued by the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, and the United States, reiterated that there is “no military solution” to the crisis and urging a political dialogue.
Egypt has expressed mounting concerns over the situation in Libya, expressing its full support for the House of Representatives (HoR), Libya’s internationally recognised government. Egypt recently called for the militia to hand back Tripoli to the HoR authorities.
Leon had managed to bring some of the opposing factions to the negotiating table, but other groups have continued the armed conflict in various parts of the country.
The HoR has expressed concern over developments in the west of Libya in the town of Zintan. There are reports of heavy fighting in the mountainous region between “subsidiaries of the Libyan army” and Islamist umbrella group Libya Dawn.
The HoR said last week that government-aligned troops had withdrawn from the area. However, at least 18 Islamist fighters are reported to have died in fighting with the Zintan militias, which are backed by tribes loyal to the HoR-backed commander Khalifa Haftar, reported Associated Press.