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Egypt presses Libya on expatriate safety

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Libyan prime minister assures Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy of efforts to secure safety for Egyptians in Libya

Egyptians hold signs in Arabic calling  for the sacking of the Egyptian foreign minister and ambassador in Libya as ambulances drive out of Cairo international airport on February 26, 2014, carrying the bodies of seven Egyptian victims who were found shot dead  in Jalluta, near Benghazi in eastern Libya, the previous day.  The victims were kidnapped from their home late on February 23, by an unknown group, an Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said, adding that eight men had been taken originally but one escaped by throwing himself from his abductors' car. ( AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

Egyptians hold signs in Arabic calling for the sacking of the Egyptian foreign minister and ambassador in Libya as ambulances drive out of Cairo international airport on February 26, 2014, carrying the bodies of seven Egyptian victims who were found shot dead in Jalluta, near Benghazi in eastern Libya.
( AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

In a meeting with Libya’s prime minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy raised the issue of security for Egyptians living inside Libya following a recent spike in violence targeting Egyptian citizens.

Fahmy met with Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Abdel-Aziz on the sidelines of a ministerial conference on the security situation in Libya, held in Rome.

The trio discussed “how to protect the safety and care of Egyptians living in Libya to prevent them from being threatened and targeted.” Zeidan expressed his government’s “keenness … to do all it can to provide the best possible position for [Egyptians living in Libya],” according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Egypt issued a travel warning to citizens visiting or living in Libya, following an execution-style killing of seven Egyptian Coptic Christians in Western Libya last week.

There have been several incidents ranging from killings, torture and kidnappings involving Egyptian citizens in Libya. In March 2013 reports emerged that Egyptian Copts were tortured by security forces having been detained for proselytising. There have been numerous incidents of truck drivers being hijacked and held hostage, only being released following negotiations.

Ahead of his visit to Rome, Fahmy told reporters that “The situation is very difficult in Libya.”.

“This is the same tactic used by other countries worldwide,” he said. “There isn’t a single country capable of protecting all citizens residing outside its borders, not only for financial reasons.”

 

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Joel Gulhane

News Reporter

Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane


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