Kidnapped Egyptians in Libya ‘priority’ for gov’t: FM
Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarter - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The crisis center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following up on the case of the kidnapped Egyptians in Libya and continues daily meetings with Libyan counterparts in an effort to release them, the ministry stated Sunday.

The center was established per a presidential decision, and assigned to follow up on the crisis 13 Egyptian Copts who were kidnapped in Sirte, Libya.

A Libyan official announced Jan. 5 that the held Egyptians had been released; the news was denied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The Egyptian government is prioritizing this case to save the lives of the kidnapped and return them home,” said Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Badr Abdel Atty in the Sunday statement.

Abdel Atty also noted the “difficult circumstances” in which the center is working, in reference to the security unrest in Libya, which hinders Egyptian diplomatic representation; the other international diplomatic missions, including the United Nations, left the North African country amid disturbances.

He also said that the center is following a case of tens of Egyptian fishermen who were detained in Libya.

Some 100 fishermen reportedly arrived in their village in Kafr el-Sheikh Sunday after fleeing clashes in Libya’s Misrata, Youm7 reported.

Since August 2014, a conflict between two Islamist Libyan militias groups escalated prompting the halt of flights between Egypt and Libya. Efforts to facilitate the evacuation of Egyptian nationals in Libya were aided by international cooperation through Tunisia and Algeria, which both allowed Egyptians to enter.

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