By Maha Suleiman.
Alexandria, 16 February 2015:
Deputy Prime Minister Abdussalam Elbadri flew to Cairo today to convey Libya’s condolences to Egypt over . . .[restrict]the killing of the 21 Egyptian Christians by IS terrorists. He was accompanied by Economy Minister Muneer Asr, Deputy Minister of Defence Masoud Erhuma and Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Saghir.
Despite the brutal slayings, Egyptians have not tend against the hundreds of thousands of Libyans living in Egypt. Despite reports, there has been no evidence of Libyans being attacked and Libyan vehicles being burned in places such as Alexandria. On the contrary, most Libyans in Egypt say they are far safer than back home.
“We don’t feel threatened in Egypt,” said one Libyan in Egypt’s second city. “My neighbour said that if anyone tries to attack us, he’ll protect us.”
The Tripoli-based General National Congress during the day had insisted that Egypt ensure that Libyans in Egypt be protected from possible revenge attacks because of the killings of the Christians. However, it appeared not to accept the reverse, that Libya was responsible for the safety of Egyptians in the country. It pinned part of the blame for the killings on Egypt because it had not raised with Congress the disappearance of the 21 men. It even questioned the legality of their presence in Libya.
Other Egyptians spoken to in Alexandria today told the Libya Herald that they did not blame Libyans in Egypt for what had happened. They had come to Egypt because of the threats from the terrorists. These also existed in Egypt, they said, in Sinai
Fears were expressed, however, that IS might try to attack other Egyptians in Libya, especially after the bombing raids on Derna.
“Daesh [IS] will take more Egyptians [in Libya] to challenge [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Sisi.”
This evening, with reports of Egyptians being seized in western Libya, that prediction appears worryingly accurate. [/restrict]