Egypt & Turkey Discuss Libyan Crisis

Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry
Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry

On Friday, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, said that Turkey has shown an understanding of the importance of the Libyan issue and its impact on Egypt’s national security.

“This in itself is a good gesture,” Shoukry said in a televised interview after concluding a one-day visit to Ankara to complete the normalization of relations between Egypt and Turkey after a decade of tensions.

“There is a consensus between us about what we hope for regarding Libya, including having a stable and unified Libya with full sovereignty over its lands, removing the foreign influences from it, and working on a new stage of achieving stability for the region and inside Libya,” Shoukry stated.

The top Egyptian diplomat affirmed that Turkey has interests in Libya, which should not have a negative impact on Egypt.

“We do not set any restrictions or preconditions on any other bilateral relation as long as it does not have a negative impact on the Egyptian national security,” Shoukry stated while speaking about Libyan-Turkish relations.

Shoukry added that he agreed with the Turkish officials on the need to crystallise further frameworks of joint action, noting that Egyptian-Turkish relations can have a positive impact on Libya.

Shoukry also noted that Egypt, through its firm and strategic relations with Greece, can work to ensure a decrease in tensions between Greece and Turkey in case both countries have the required political will and acceptance of an Egyptian role in this regard.

On Thursday, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said Turkey and Egypt are planning to enhance cooperation to ensure stability in Libya.

“Ankara and Cairo will cooperate more closely regarding Libya,” Çavuşoğlu said at a joint press conference with visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister in Ankara.

“In our meeting today, we (saw) that our views are not essentially very different, but that we think differently on some methods,” he added.

“The two countries will work on a roadmap to hold elections in Libya, and training and reinforcing a unified military between forces in the east and west of Libya,” he said.

Last month the Turkish Foreign Minister visited Cairo on a one-day official visit upon Shoukry’s invitation, in a first between the countries in 11 years.

During his visit, Çavuşoğlu said that Ankara and Cairo agreed to continue joint coordination and consultations for the stability of Libya.

“We discussed Libya in a little more detail. We agreed that we are not rivals in Libya and that we should work together for the stability of Libya. We will intensify our consultations on this issue as well,” Çavuşoğlu noted.