CAIRO: The Egyptian military participated in the release of 27 abducted Ethiopians, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said at a Thursday Armed Forces seminar.
Sisi received the 27 Ethiopian nationals arriving from Libya at Cairo International Airport Thursday.
“Thanks to God and the efforts of sovereign bodies in the past days, the Ethiopians kidnapped in Libya were set free; they are the first batch of Ethiopian brothers who were in very great distress inside Libyan territories,” said Sisi in a speech he delivered at the airport.
The Ethiopian citizens were released upon coordination between Egypt and the Ethiopian and Libyan governments, Sisi noted, expressing his gratitude to the Egyptian and Libyan security bodies to release the Egyptians.
Ethiopians began fleeing Libya after more than 25 of their countrymen were beheaded by the Islamic State group (IS) in April.
Sisi’s move comes after Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom requested that Egypt helps release and evacuate Ethiopian nationals from Libya after more than 25 of their countrymen were beheaded by the Islamic State group (IS) in April, diplomats have told Youm7.
“As I said before the Ethiopian parliament, we are brothers, what harms them (Ethiopians) harms us, and we rejoice to see them happy,” Sisi said during the airport reception that was attended by Ethiopian ambassador to Egypt Mahmoud Dardeer.
Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta was quoted by the Ethiopian News Agency Wednesday that more than 250 Ethiopians in Libya are registered to be evacuated from Libya.
The Egyptian plane, boarded by the Ethiopian citizens, came from Tunisia. On Wednesday, Sisi met Tunisian chief of the presidential staff Reda Belhaj to discuss bilateral relations and the situation in Libya.
After sour Egyptian-Ethiopian relations because of the Renaissance Dam, the two countries have improved their ties by signing an initial agreement on the dam so it does not damage Egypt’s share of the Nile River water.
In cooperation with the Tobruk-based Libyan government, Egypt launched airstrikes against IS hotbeds in Libyan territories following mass execution of 20 Egyptian Copts by the IS in January.