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Egypt to Host Libyan Tribes Meeting to ‘Unify the Libyan People’

Egypt to Host Libyan Tribes Meeting to ‘Unify the Libyan People’

Smoke billows over Tripoli during fighting in July 2014.
Smoke billows over Tripoli during fighting in July 2014.

Egypt will be hosting an expanded forum for Libyan tribes later this month to “unify the Libyan people,” the Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The ministry said in a statement that the forum aims to give Libya the “necessary boost toward political dialogue” and endorse national reconciliation.

The date for the forum is still being discussed with Libyan tribes and the United Nations, the statement read.

Libyan capital Tripoli has fallen under the control of the Fajr Libya or Libya Dawn Islamist militia in August 2014. Meanwhile, Egypt and the international community only recognise authorities based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.

The country has been caught up in unprecedented violence since May 2014, when army general Khalifa Haftar declared war on Islamist forces within Libya, prompting nationwide militant fighting.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty stressed in the statement “the extremely important role of Libyan tribes and civil society” in restoring stability to Libya and supporting the state’s “legitimate institutions”, such as the parliament and the “legitimate” government.

Abdelatty warned that the “current situation” would intensify the challenges faced by Libya, stressing that such challenges have become a “significant regional and international concern.”

He said arms and drugs smuggling and illegal immigration are some of the aforementioned concerns.

“Egypt is always working on supporting the sovereignty of this brotherly state and the unity of its lands,” Abdelatty said in the statement. He stressed Egypt’s continuous support to Libya until “political reconciliation” is achieved.

Egypt’s air force conducted in February air strikes which it says hit militant targets, after the beheading of 20 Coptic Egyptians inside Libya at the hands of militants believed to belong to the Libyan division of the Islamic State fighters.

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