Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry requested on Tuesday that Libya’s parliament hold an urgent meeting in order to authenticate the newly formed government of national unity.
Along with representatives from other Arab countries at a meeting in Tunisia, Shoukry said the parliament must provide the necessary legitimacy to the newly formed government.
A UN-sponsored deal between rival factions in Libya’s government gave way to a unity government deal that was announced in December. However, the unity government has yet to gain support from government, furthering a void of governance that has been filled with an increase in “Islamic State” (IS) and militant activity in the country.
Shoukry noted that Egypt has supported Libya’s parliament as the only legitimate body in Egypt’s neighbouring country. He also said the international community should support the Libyan army so that it is able to fight the growing threat of terrorism in the country.
Shoukry also praised the efforts of UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler for achieving a political solution in the country. Kobler held a meeting last week with the Egyptian deputy foreign minister for neighbouring countries’ affairs, Osama Al-Magdoub, in which they discussed efforts to support a Libyan national unity government in order to achieve stability in Libya, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Al-Magdoub reaffirmed Egypt’s stance of ensuring the unity of Libyan territories and supporting elected Libyan institutions for their legal role in supporting the government. Violence in Libya persists as the UN tries to support a political process to end the conflict between the two warring parliaments.
As the five-year mark passes on world powers’ intervention in 2011 to unseat Muammar Gaddafi, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi warned Thursday that this is not the right time for any international intervention in Libya, describing it as risky. The international community should support the Libyan army, he said.
“If we give arms and support to the Libyan National Army, it could do a much better job than anyone else, better than any external intervention which could risk putting us in a situation that could get out of hand and provoke uncontrollable developments,” Al-Sisi said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
The Egyptian president cited the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, pointing out that international intervention did not lead to any improvements in either country.
“Europeans think that IS is the only threat to Libya … This is a mistake … it must be understood that we are facing several groups with the same ideology,” Al-Sisi added.
He also said that any Italian or international intervention must be under the supervision of the UN.
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi denounced, earlier this month, the declarations of the US ambassador to Rome regarding Italy’s intention to send 5,000 soldiers to Libya.