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Libya’s Neighbors Reiterate Rejection of Military Solution, Warn against Return of Foreign Fighters

Libya’s Neighbors Reiterate Rejection of Military Solution, Warn against Return of Foreign Fighters

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 12:15
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) sits with his Algerian counterpart Abdelkader Messahel at Tahrir Palace in Cairo. AFP

Tunisia and Algerian foreign ministers reiterated their rejection of any military solution in Libya, stressing their support for the UN efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis and achieve stability in the chaotic country since 2011 and warning against the return of foreign fighters from conflict zones.

Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry, Tunisian FM Abdelkader Messahel and Algerian FM Khemaies Jhinaoui met in Cairo on Wednesday and discussed the situation in Libya and means of pushing the political solution forward after discussions to amend Skhirat Agreement reached dead end.

The FMs of the three countries also issued “The Cairo Declaration" and praised the efforts put by UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salama.

They urged all the political parties to show sufficient flexibility during the ongoing negotiations to amend the political agreement, warning in the same context of the seriousness of the continued deterioration of the security situation in Libya and its consequences that will affect the daily lives of citizens.

The FMs stressed the importance of continuing and supporting security coordination and exchange of information as well as strengthening cooperation among them in their fight against terrorism.

They reiterated the positions of their countries and the principles that lead their joint action to support efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis, first and foremost to preserve the unity and stability of the country and to adhere to dialogue and political agreement as the only basis for resolving the crisis.

The tripartite meeting is considered the first of its kind since Salama launched his roadmap to resolve Libyan crisis in light of stalled meetings that were held in Tunisia.

In this regard, Skhoukry said he agreed with his Algerian and Tunisian counterparts to reject any military option in Libya, adding that they discussed the threat imposed by the terrorist organizations on the national security of the three countries.

Jhinaoui, for his part, said during the joint press conference that Libya has become a refuge for a number of terrorist organizations, pointing out the importance of finding a peaceful solution to end the crisis.

While Messahel said that the three countries agree when it comes to the Libyan crisis, "and we have exchanged views on how to help the Libyans reach a final solution to end the crisis.”

Addressing the return of foreign fighters, Messahel said that coordination should take place among regional countries to face the threat of their return from the conflict zones, noting that regional countries need Libya to be stable.

Notably, the three diplomats met previously twice over Libya following Tunisia’s announcement of a comprehensive political settlement in Libya on February 20. The first meeting was held in Algeria on June 5 and 6 while the other was held in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

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