By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 26 July 2017:
Egypt has praised the Faiez Serraj and Khalifa Hafter talks held in Paris yesterday, saying that the proposed plan of action was the right way of moving Libya forward.
The comments came as Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry held discussions today with Hafter in Paris. Shoukry told him that Egypt backed the statement issued yesterday, which agreed on a ceasefire, elections and the Skhirat accord.
He said it contained all the right ideas to support Libya as it transitions towards addressing economic and social problems, fighting terrorism and restoring stability.
According to Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid, Shoukry insisted that Libya remained one of his priorities but the country still needed to strengthen its state institutions, particularly the army. He also said that Hafter thanked Egypt for its work in encouraging dialogue and in finding a political solution, not a military one.
Although Egypt supports Hafter, it has also said that any solution to the Libyan crisis must be based on dialogue and the Libyan Political Agreement.
In their talks today, both Hafter and Shoukry also condemned Qatar and its supposed funding of terrorism.
Egypt has cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and Libyan National Army spokesman Ahmed Mismari has described the Gulf state as a funder of terrorists.
Meanwhile, boycotting Presidency Council member Ali Qatrani, a indefatigable supporter of Hafter, has also stated his support for the Paris meeting and the agreement resulting from it. Calling on Serraj to stick to what was agreed, he nonetheless claimed that one of the most important aspects of the encouter was that it conferred international recognition on the LNA.
There is, in fact, little reason to doubt that Serraj would not stick to the agreement since it is in line with almost everything he wants.
International recognition of the LNA is also well established.