CAIRO: The international community needs more determination to fight terrorism in Libya, similar to the international coalition against the Islamic State group, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said Thursday.
His comments came in a statement presented at a meeting on Libya with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top officials at the U.N. General Assembly Thursday.
“Egypt calls on the international community to adopt a decisive strategy against extremists because the fight against terrorism cannot be dealt with in double standards,” Shoukry said.
Other Egyptian officials have echoed Shoukry, making Libya an agenda talking point for the Egyptian U.N. delegation.
“We and Algeria are keen to see Libya stabilized. The situation there poses a danger not just to us and Europeans, it requires a joint effort to restore stability in Libya,” President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the AP on Sept. 20.
“There is a parliament there which represents the will of the Libyan people. We support it and every member of the international community must support the legitimate authority in Libya now,” Sisi said in the interview.
Shoukry also said at the meeting that the Arab, African and international community is able to bear responsibility to remedy the situation in Libya.
The fourth of periodic meetings between Libya’s neighboring countries was conducted in Cairo on Aug. 25, where dealing with the situation in Libya was discussed, Shoukry added.
Previously, Sisi told top Libyan officials that Egypt will train Libyan security and military forces, said Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel-Aziz on Aug. 26 after a meeting between the leaders.
The initiative, Shoukry said, entails a dialogue with peaceful political parties, weapons being turned in by all militias, external parties refraining from arming illegitimate parties in Libya, fighting all forms of terrorism and supporting state institutions, particularly the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the U.S. claims that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched airstrikes against targets in Libya in August. Egypt has said it did not send troops into Libya, but has skirted around whether it sent planes or facilitated the planes of the UAE by allowing them to use Egypt’s bases and airspace.
Libyan unrest is of particular concern to Egypt, as there are indications the violence may already be spilling into Egyptian territory.
On July 19, 21 border guards were killed at the Farafra Oasis in the Western Desert after a violent clash with militants, some of whom are believed to have infiltrated through the 1,200 kilometer border with Libya. On Aug. 5, five policemen were killed in an armed attack on their vehicle in Matrouh governorate, also near the Libyan border.
Additionally, dozens of Egyptians have also been killed and abducted amid lawlessness in Libya. Thousands of Egyptians have surged out of the country through the Tunisian and Algerian borders and Egypt has urged its nationals not to travel to its western neighbor.