By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 7 June 2015:
The foreign ministers of Egypt, Italy and Algeria wrapped up talks in Cairo today with a . . .[restrict]call for a political solution in Libya. Their meeting came ahead of tomorrow’s renewed UNSMIL-brokered negotiations in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat. They had last met in Rome in April.
Before they were joined by Algerian foreign minister, Abdelkader Messahel, Egypt’s Sameh Al-Shukri and Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni had a separate meeting. Egypt has been insisting that the UN arms embargo be lifted to allow the Libyan government in Beida to give the army better arms and equipment “to fight terrorism”.
Gentiloni meanwhile has expressed his government’s view that it might very well be necessary for the international community to take action against IS in Libya. This stance was echoed yesterday by the Spanish foreign minister Pedro Morenes who argued that since IS was being fought in Iraq and Syria, it should also be fought in Libya.
No mention of the lifting of the arms embargo was made in the final press conference of today’s tripartite meeting, though Shukri repeated that his country supported Libya’s internationally recognised government and army in “fighting terrorism.” The press briefing however focused on the need for a government of national unity to be agreed at the UNSMIL talks. Gentiloni said that once Libya has such a government, it would be possible to address the rising crisis of migrants being poured across the Mediterranean by Libyan people-smugglers.