Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy spoke with regional counterparts Tuesday and Wednesday about the worsening crisis in Libya as clashes continue in Egypt’s conflict-prone neighbour.
According to a foreign ministry statement, Fahmy spoke with foreign ministers from Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, the Secretary General of the Arab League and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister expressed “serious concern” over the political situation in Libya as clashes between a rogue general and state-backed Islamist militias are posed to threaten regional stability.
The statement noted the “current need to stop fighting and the importance of greater coordination and consultation between the neighbouring countries… as [neighbouring] countries should play a key role in containing the potential negative repercussions of Libyan security and stability”.
Fahmy also expressed Egypt’s desire to “support the government and people of Libya” as well as preserving Libyan territorial integrity during times of crisis.
The Egyptian border with Libya was closed Tuesday as Egypt sought to distance itself from the ongoing bloodshed.
Fahmy also urged Egyptians in Libya to exercise “utmost care and caution” as tensions between Egypt and its troubled neighbour Libya have been on the rise as a string of killings and kidnappings has targeted Egyptian nationals.
Egypt has issues and reiterated a travel warning for citizens travelling to Libya. Egyptians are advised not to travel to Libya unless it is absolutely necessary, and to travel by airplane not road only “after obtaining a valid visa issued by the Libyan embassy in Cairo”.
Libya’s government accused retired general Khalifa Haftar of staging a coup when he unleashed his so-called National Army on Islamists on Friday and led an offensive against Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi using warplanes. The Friday violence left at least 79 dead.