US-African summit expresses ‘deep concern’ on Libyan security
A rebel fighter fires an anti-aircraft weapon in front of a burning gas storage - REUTERS
By AYA SAMIR

CAIRO: Representatives of the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United States have issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing their “deep concern” about the political and security challenges facing Libya and the impact of these challenges across North Africa.

The statement that was published on the US department of state’s website said that the six countries called for an immediate ceasefire between all the parties in Libya, and demanded them “to undertake negotiations to address the country’s security and stability needs”.

“We call on Libya’s newly elected Council of Representatives and other democratic institutions to adopt inclusive policies that benefit all Libyans and to build a government that meets the Libyan people’s needs for security, reconciliation, and prosperity,” the statement said.

The participating countries assured that they are supporting the Libyan people and the democratically-elected institutions, as they refuse the ongoing violence between Libyans. “It creates a tragic humanitarian crisis that affects the lives of the most vulnerable and threatens Libya’s democratic transition,” the statement said.

This statement was released on the sidelines of the United States-Africa summit that took place in Washington DC last Monday with the participation of about 50 African leaders according to the All-Africa website.

Libya has been facing unrest between militias since the revolution in 2011 and the killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The violence and clashes were described as a “civil war” according to APF quoting an eyewitness Saturday.

Many Arab countries have evacuated their nationals from Libya since the beginning of the clashes that escalated lately including Egypt, which announced it is cooperating with Tunisian authorities to allow Egyptians to travel into Tunisia and from there to Egypt without paying fees.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said in statements Saturday that the government is “doing the best it can to ensure the rapid return of Egyptians from Libya” without having to pay fees for flight tickets, Youm7 reported.

The tensions on the Egyptian-Libyan borders have shaped a deep source of concern to many Egyptian political figures including Former Arab League Secretary-General and likely parliamentary candidate Amr Moussa, who issued a statement Sunday warning that Egypt might be forced to defend itself against the escalating situation in Libya.

The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry assured in statements later according to al-Masry al-Youm that Egypt is not going to participate in any military actions inside Libya.

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