Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia stress support for Libya’s stability

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia held tripartite talks in Cairo on Tuesday, where they reiterated support for restoring security and stability in Libya and rejection of foreign interference in the war-torn neighboring state.

“Political settlement is the basic framework to get out of the status quo in Libya and restore Libyan institutions to realize the ambitions of the Libyan people,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told a press conference following the meeting.

Shoukry and his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts, Khemaies Jhinaoui and Abdelkader Messahel, renewed commitment to support the re-establishment of a sovereign united Libya and the restoration of security and stability of the country, according to a joint statement after the meeting.

They also reviewed the results of their mediation efforts to bring rival Libyan factions closer, calling on all Libyan parties to show responsibility and flexibility in positively responding to their initiative.

“The ministers stressed their rejection of all forms of foreign intervention in Libya, which leads to more complications of the crisis and obstructs the whole political process,” said the joint statement.

The three top diplomats also welcomed the efforts of UN special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, through a plan that seeks a comprehensive settlement based on consensus of all Libyan parties.

General elections in Libya are expected to be held later this year, though they were originally scheduled for December 2018.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria reiterated their support for a political settlement in Libya based on dialogue among rival parties, referring to a 2015 agreement as the main reference to any settlement to the Libyan crisis.

The ministers said their next meeting will be held in Tunisia after they agree on a date.

Following the ouster and killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libyan factions engaged in a state of civil war that escalated in 2014 and resulted in splitting power between two rival governments in the capital Tripoli and Tobruk, northwestern and northeastern Libya.

Tobruk government was recognized by the international community before the Libyan Presidential Council was established in late 2015 as a unity government in Tripoli, following a UN-brokered peace deal between warring Libyan factions reached in Skhirat, Morocco.

Supported by self-proclaimed Libyan national army led by Khalifa Haftar, the parliament-backed government in Tobruk refuses to recognize the UN-backed, Tripoli-based unity government, known as the Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj.