Libya-Turkey deals to deepen rift between Libyans: Egyptian FM - The Libyan Report

Libya-Turkey deals to deepen rift between Libyans: Egyptian FM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-04 06:17:32|Editor: yan

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CAIRO, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned on Tuesday that the recently signed security and maritime agreements between Libya's internationally recognized government and Turkey would further deepen the rift between Libyans.

Shoukry's comments came during a phone conversation with the UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a press statement.

Shoukry and Salame discussed the latest developments of the Libyan crisis and the efforts aimed to make the "Berlin Process" a success to secure political solutions in order to restore stability in Libya, said the statement.

The Egyptian top diplomat stressed that the two agreements between Turkey and the Libya government disrupt the political process, while "an international consensus" started to develop to help the Libyans get out of the current crisis.

Shoukry affirmed his country's full support to Salame's efforts, highlighting the importance of preserving the political process "from being hindered in any way."

Both sides agreed to intensify communication between them with a view to seeking an end to the Libyan crisis so as to serve the Libyan people's interests.

On Nov. 27, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister of Libya's internationally recognized government Fayez Serraj signed two MoUs on security and maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean.

The signing of the MoUs came amid differences between Turkey, one one hand, and Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, on another hand, over the exploration rights for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean.

Tarek Fahmy, a professor of international relations at Cairo University, said the signing of the two MoUs was "legally void," citing that Serraj is not authorized to sign international agreements under the Skhirat Agreement of 2015 which was signed in Morocco between Libyan parties under the auspices of the United Nations.

Fahmy told Xinhua that the agreements between the Serraj government and Turkey pose "a threat to Egypt's national security and confirms the Turkish approach to challenge Egypt in the region."

Turkey's goal behind signing the two agreements is to "support the government of reconciliation in the face of the eastern-based army, which is supported by Cairo, to change the rules of the game at this time in Libya," the expert explained.

Fahmy expected the signing of the deals to have negative repercussions on the Libyan situation, by further fuelling the internal division and conflict.

Libya has been suffering escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. The country is politically divided between the eastern- and western-based governments, leading to escalation of violence and instability.

The eastern-based army, led by Khalifa Haftar, has been leading a military campaign since early April in and around the capital Tripoli, attempting to take over the city and overthrow the UN-backed government.

The armed conflict has killed and injured thousands of people, while displacing nearly 120,000 civilians. source