Eurafrica Maghreb

Egypt’s foreign minister says Turkey supports extremists in Libya

CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry claims Turkey continues to support extremists in Libya’s long-running civil war.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday following a meeting in Cairo with his counterparts from France, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus on the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya, Shoukry said the meeting aimed to reach a political consensus for the crisis, that political solutions are the best possible resolution, and that armed conflicts cannot help solve the crisis.

Shoukry called for a cessation of hostilities in Libya, stressing that international law should be respected. He claimed that Turkey supports armed militias listed as sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

He noted that the recent agreements signed between Fayez Al-Serraj and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were a violation of the Sokhairat Agreement and that Turkish support for extremists continues.

The Egyptian foreign minister said that Egypt had exerted “numerous efforts” to enable the people of Libya to reach a compromise. He stressed that Libya’s Presidential Council should represent all the Libyan regions, something it does not do currently.

The situation in Libya is only getting more complicated, Shoukry said, adding that Turkey’s interventions are aggravating the situation. He said Ankara is violating international law in light of the escalation of terrorism in Tripoli, and that Egypt has been affected by attempts by terrorists to smuggle arms through its border with Libya. He added that Egypt fully supports the Berlin conference and its attempts to achieve stability in Libya.

Speaking at the same press conference, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the Demarcation Agreement between Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord is a cause for concern as it violates international law and has a direct impact on the European Union.

On a more positive note, Le Drian added that the latest gas explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean have provided increased development opportunities in the Middle East.

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