EU’s top diplomat discusses Libya, East Med with Egypt’s President, FM

In light of common challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell on Friday travelled to Cairo, where he held talks with the country’s President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry and with the Minister of Defence, Mohamed Ahmed Zaki.

“Egypt is a hub for security and stability in the region,” Borrell said, acknowledging the strong ties that bind the two sides and the country’s key role in resolving the Libyan conflict, as well as in several matters of common interest, including in combating illegal migration, terrorism and extremism ideology.

Borrell’s visit to Cairo was the first one since he took office, and came amid growing tensions in several fronts in the region; from a ceasefire attempt in Libya, the territorial waters dispute between Athens and Ankara, to the Middle East Peace Process and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

“Maybe the most important aspects of this visit are the regional issues, because our neighbourhood – the Mediterranean – is in trouble,” reads a statement by the EU’s External Action Service.

As the situation in Libya topped the agenda, Egypt’s Sisi pledged the country’s support to a political solution in Libya, “away from foreign interference and armed militias.” The Egyptian President’s comments came amid reports that the arms embargo is ineffective and that foreign fighters are still coming in the country.

“Egypt’s vision has not changed, which is the need to reach a peaceful, consensual solution, a Libyan-Libyan solution, according to the Skhirat framework, the Security Council and the UN envoy,” FM Shoukry said, according to local media reports.

“From our side, we try to control the arms embargo as much as we can, but we are perfectly aware that the flow of arms continues reaching Libya and, as far as this continues, it is going to be quite difficult to stop the fighting,” Borrell said during a press statement with Shoukry.

Earlier in September, the Union’s High Representative had visited Libya, where he pledged EU’s support to the ceasefire announcement, during a meeting with the leader of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

News by NewEurope

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