Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty reiterated calls for Egyptians to refrain from travelling to Libya for safety reasons, in light of the current situation in Egypt’s neighbouring country.
Abdelatty’s comments came following reports that have been circulating in media outlets on the detention of a number of Egyptians in Libya for their illegal immigration to the country.
The spokesman stressed that intensive talks are being held on behalf of the ministry over the matter.
Despite the Foreign Ministry’s calls for Egyptians to halt travel to Libya, several cases of Egyptian nationals arrested while attempting to cross the western borders have been reported.
The latest of these incidents was earlier in May, when state media reported that 83 Egyptians were arrested while attempting to illegally cross into Libya through the Salloum border port.
The situation in Libya has been deteriorating since the toppling of former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Islamist militias took control of prominent areas of Libyan territories including the country’s capital, Tripoli.
“Islamic State” affiliates in Libya have targeted Egyptians on several occasions, seeing the Egyptian government in turn call for the evacuation of its nationals from Libya.
In April, three Egyptians were killed in Libya, two as a result of shelling that hit their house in Benghazi. The third was an Egyptian TV director found dead in the city of Bayada, along with four other Libyan journalists working for Libyan TV station Barqa.
Last February, the group posted a video featuring the decapitation of 20 Egyptian Copts in the city of Sirte.
Egypt supports the internationally recognised Libyan Interim Government led by Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni, which is based in Tobruk. In coordination with this government, Egypt launched a number of airstrikes on the city of Derna following the attack on Egyptians. Derna is known to be an Islamist stronghold in Libya.
The attack against the Christians was followed by a similar one in April, which targeted approximately 30 Ethiopian Christians.
Following both attacks, Egypt called on the international community to take “strict measures” against the flow of arms and funding of “terrorist organisations” to prevent their spread on Libyan territories.
Last Thursday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received the first batch of 27 Ethiopians returning from Libya, after Egyptian authorities negotiated with the Libyan parties to release them.