El-Sisi and Haftar discuss Egyptian support for Libyan National Army

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi meets with military commander Khalifa Haftar (L) at the Ittihadia presidential Palace in the capital Cairo on May 9, 2019. (AFP/HO/Egyptian presidency)
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The Prime Minister of Libya's Tripoli-based government met Britain's Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in London on Thursday. (Photo courtesy: Social media)
Updated 16 May 2019
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El-Sisi and Haftar discuss Egyptian support for Libyan National Army

  • El-Sisi confirmed Egypt’s support for efforts to counter terrorism and militias in Libya
  • Last month, Haftar’s forces launched an offensive against the capital, which is held by a rival government.

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discussed Egypt’s support for the Libyan National Army (LNA) with its commander Khalifa Haftar on Thursday.

El-Sisi confirmed Egypt’s support for efforts to counter terrorism and militias in order to achieve safety and stability in Libya, a presidential spokesman said.

Last month, Haftar’s forces, which are loyal to the administration based in Eastern Libya, launched an offensive against the capital Tripoli which is held by a rival government.

The country has been divided since the downfall of Muammar Qaddafi, and Egypt has supported Haftar as a bulwark against extremist forces in Libya.

During Thursday’s meeting at the Ittihadiya presidential palace, Haftar explained Libyan efforts to address foreign interference in the country, which he said aims to smuggle weapons, fighters and foreign terrorists into Libya. Haftar has accused Turkey and Libya of backing hardline militias in the country.

Earlier, the head of Libya’s Tripoli-based government met British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in London.

Fayez Al-Sarraj, whose government is backed by the UN, has been in Europe this week seeking support against Haftar’s Tripoli offensive.

Haftar’s Libyan National Army launched an assault on Tripoli on April 4, setting off another deadly escalation in a country mired in violence since Qaddafi’s death after an Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

Britain has pushed for a resolution at the UN Security Council demanding a ceasefire in Libya but its efforts have foundered amid divisions at the world body.

Meanwhile, three people were killed Thursday in a suspected hit-and-run attack by Daesh militants on a town in southern Libya, residents and a military official said, the second such attack within days.

Gunmen stormed the southern town of Ghadwa and opened fire before retreating back into the desert, residents said.

The attack came after nine soldiers were killed on Saturday in an attack claimed by Daesh on a training camp for  Haftar’s forces.

In Tripoli, three rockets hit a western suburb overnight close to the heavily fortified UN compound but otherwise there was less fighting than last week as life slowed down with the start of the holy month of Ramadan.


Egypt accuses UN of seeking to ‘politicize’ Morsi death

Updated 21 min 11 sec ago
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Egypt accuses UN of seeking to ‘politicize’ Morsi death

  • Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said the UN is trying to politicize a natural death
  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an independent investigation into the death of Morsi

CAIRO: Egypt accused the United Nations on Wednesday of seeking to “politicize” the death of the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi by calling for an “independent inquiry.”

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said he condemned “in the strongest terms” the call by the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, for an independent investigation into Morsi’s death during a court hearing on Monday.

Hafez said it was a “deliberate attempt to politicize a case of natural death.”

Colville called Tuesday for a probe into whether the conditions Morsi faced during his nearly six years in custody had contributed to his death.

“Any sudden death in custody must be followed by a prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation carried out by an independent body to clarify the cause of death,” he said.

“Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr. Morsi’s detention, including access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family,” Colville added.

He said the investigation must “encompass all aspects of the authorities’ treatment of Mr. Morsi to examine whether the conditions of his detention had an impact on his death.”

Morsi was toppled by then army chief, now President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2013 after a single divisive year in power. He was later charged with an array of offenses including espionage.

Since his ouster, authorities have waged an ongoing crackdown on dissent of all kinds that has seen thousands of Brotherhood supporters jailed and hundreds facing death sentences.

A group of British parliamentarians in March 2018 warned Morsi’s detention conditions, particularly inadequate treatment for his diabetes and liver disease, could trigger “premature death.”