Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, Jan Kubis, on Saturday, as part of Cairo’s successive contacts with various parties in order to push for a comprehensive settlement of the Libyan crisis.
This comes as Libya’s Joint Military Commission (JMC, 5+5) convened in Cairo on Saturday, to discuss the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign forces from the country. The meeting witnessed the participation of Kubiš and representatives of Libya’s neighbouring countries.
Ahmed Hafez, Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said that Shoukry reiterated the great importance that Egypt attaches to the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya.
Shoukry pointed out that this foreign presence represents a clear threat to Libyan sovereignty, a negative impact on the security of Libya’s neighbouring countries, and regional stability.
He also stressed the need for any international moves in this regard to lead to the withdrawal of foreign presence simultaneously and without exception or distinction. The Egyptian Foreign Minister also stressed the importance of coordinating efforts in order to take a decisive stance towards the continued violation of the arms embargo by some parties in Libya.
The meeting also discussed holding parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December, according to the road map approved by the Libyans, and the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Shoukry explained that any attempts to postpone the elections will negatively impact Libya’s security, prolonge the crisis, consolidate divisions and political instability.
For his part, the UN envoy briefed Shoukry on the results of his contacts with the various parties concerned with the Libyan crisis, and his vision to stabilise the situation in Libya.
He also expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s supportive role in stabilizing Libya, praising in this regard Cairo’s hosting of the 5+5 meetings, and the importance of mobilizing efforts to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people towards development and prosperity.
Kubis expressed his hope that the 5+5 meeting in Cairo leads to taking the first steps for the process of withdrawing mercenaries and foreign forces from Libya.
He said during his speech at the beginning of the committee’s meetings that he hopes that the Cairo meeting will result in a mutual understanding of the basic building blocks and coordination mechanisms necessary for the withdrawal.
The UN envoy to Libya stressed the need to agree on the first steps of the withdrawal process, which will take fully into account the needs and concerns of Libya and its neighbours.
Noting that he counts on the cooperation of all Libyan parties as well as the support of the African Union(AU) in this noble and very important endeavour.
Kubis thanked the Egyptian government for hosting this meeting and supporting its holding at the request of the Joint Military Committee (JMC 5+5), a meeting facilitated by the UNSMIL.
He also expressed his appreciation to the representatives of Chad, Niger and Sudan for their participation in this important meeting and their willingness to work with the JMC 5+5 on the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya in a way that does not affect the stability of the situation in their countries and in the region.
Kubis added that the UNSMIL is constantly participating in efforts to help Libya restore its stability, unity and full sovereignty.
He said that these efforts, in close coordination with the Libyans and the cooperation of international partners, including Egypt, resulted in an important achievement – the ceasefire agreement signed on 23 October 2020, which was approved by the Libyan JMC.
The meeting coincides with the approaching date of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 24 December, according to the UN road map.