By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 4 August 2014:
The political crisis in Libya was one of the main topics of discussion in talks . . .[restrict]in Cairo between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Saturday. They also discussed the situation in Gaza, illegal immigration, terrorism and the economic ties between Egypt and Italy.
During the press conference Sisi pointed to the need for an “urgent solution” for Egypt’s neighbor, adding that Libya’s stability affected Egypt’s security.
Sisi stressed that the international community, after intervening during Libya’s revolution, had a “moral obligation” towards Libya.
Renzi, for his part, said that Libya had to be a topic of discussion at the upcoming NATO summit on 5 September in Wales. He added that the UN needed to send a special envoy to Libya to act on the situation. Agreeing with Sisi, Renzi said that the situation needed “immediate intervention.” He stressed Egypt’s key role in ensuring stability in the region, a region that included other volatile areas, including Gaza and Sudan.
Regarding the Egyptian-Libyan border, Sisi said Egypt was “ready to protect our country against any dangers.” Armed Egyptian forces were patrolling the Egyptian side of the border, ready to take action against smuggling operations, he explained. Their main priority was to stop arms from being smuggled into Egypt from Libya.
Meanwhile former Egyptian Foreign Minister and Arab League head Amr Moussa called for a decidedly more proactive approach in a statement released yesterday that suggested Egypt may need to use military force against extremists in Benghazi and eastern Libya. Claiming Egypt’s “right to self-defence”, Moussa said that Islamist “statelets” in eastern Libya threatened Egypt’s security. He called for a public debate about possible unilateral military intervention.
Meanwhile, Egypt continues to assist Egyptians trying to return home from Libya. Thousands of Egyptians are reportedly stuck at the Ras Jedir Libya-Tunisian border crossing awaiting flights from nearby Djerba to return to Egypt, with more coming all the time. The number of flights so far has not been sufficient to transport all of them to Egypt. Authorities in Tunisia say that the border crossing area is not able to accommodate such large numbers of evacuees and this is leading to problems.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossni Kamal said yesterday that the Egyptian authorities had begun the process of transporting Egyptians from Ras Jedir to Djerba where five planes provided transport back to Egypt and that more planes were expected in the coming days. [/restrict]