President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi asserted on Saturday the importance of lifting the arms embargo on the Libyan National Army, speaking during his meeting with the head of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, according to a press statement.
Al-Sisi added that the Libyan National Army must be unified, considering it the cornerstone of the solution to combat terrorism in Libya.
Haftar expressed his government’s appreciation of Egypt’s efforts in helping different parties of the conflict to reach a solution, adding that Egypt is keen on reaching stability in Libya.
Al-Sisi also pointed to Egypt’s pursuit of a political solution to the conflict through encouraging peaceful talks, adding that Egypt is seeking to reach a framework to proceed with political dialogue between conflicting parties.
The talks included the latest updates in the Libyan situation, the importance of dialogue between political powers and combating terrorism, presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council imposed a weapons embargo on Libya in February 2011.
The UN had called for a unified army of the unity government in order to lift the arms embargo, said UN special envoy to Libya Martin Kobler in March, during an Arab League press conference.
Haftar’s visit follows talks between Al-Sisi and the chairperson of the Presidential Council of Libya and prime minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Al-Sarraj, in March, when Al-Sisi asserted the need of a political solution in Libya.
In 2011, following the downfall of late Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi, first resulting in the establishment of two main conflicting governments in Libya: the internationally-recognised government of National Accord in the east, and the self-declared government of National Salvation, also known as the General National Congress (GNC), in the west, followed by a takeover by militias and extremist groups of large areas of land and the formation of further entities claiming legitimacy.
Egypt has stepped up its involvement in the Libyan issue over the past few months through holding talks with regional and European governments, as well as meeting with a number of significant high-level Libyan figures.
In a different context, Saudi civil service minister Essam bin Saeed met on Saturday Al-Sisi with an invitiation from Saudi King Salman for Al-Sisi to attend the Arabic Islamic American Summit, as part of enhancing cooperation between the two countries.