Dialogue between Egypt and Turkey halted over Turkish practices in Libya, FM Shoukry tells Al-Arabiya – Foreign Affairs – Egypt

Cairo and Ankara held two rounds of exploratory talks last year – led by the Egyptian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers – in a bid to mend their broken relationship.

The split between the two countries dates back to the ousting in 2013 of the late Egyptian president of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, who was supported by the government of Tayyip Erdogan, president then Prime Minister of Turkey.

“The two exploratory meetings served to express our concerns about regional situations. This path has not resumed, as there has been no change in terms of Turkey’s practices in Libya,” Shoukry said on Saturday. in an interview with the Saudi news channel Al.-Arabiya.

The crisis in Libya, which borders Egypt to the west, has further strained relations between the two countries as Turkey has brought thousands of paid Syrian fighters into the conflict and continued its support for the national unity government. (GNU) outgoing, which is led by Abdel-Hamid Dbeibah.

The situation heated up in early October after the Tripoli-based GNU government signed a series of preliminary economic agreements with Turkey that could include energy exploration in maritime areas.

Egypt claims that the GNU’s mandate has expired and is not authorized to sign such agreements.

Egypt’s assertion follows a vote of no confidence in the government by Libya’s parliament in September 2021, the GNU’s failure to hold agreed elections in December 2021, and parliament’s nomination of Fathi Bashagha for the post. as Prime Minister in February 2022.

However, Dbeibah’s administration – installed in February 2021 as part of a UN-led peace process – has so far prevented Bashagha from taking office, arguing that the next administration should be the product of elections.

Shoukry said this situation violates the UN-brokered Skhirat Agreement – which defines the authority and duration of Libya’s interim government – adding that “the international community, for one reason or another, is not raising the voice to clarify this matter”.

“There is another government that cannot assume its responsibilities,” said the head of Egyptian diplomacy.

The principle of respect for the legislative institution is flouted, he noted in reference to the parliament’s motion of censure.

This case, Shoukry said, further complicates the situation in Libya and makes it more difficult to find a common agreement between the Libyan parties in order to hold the long-awaited elections.

“If we want an international system based on rules, these rules must be respected without duplicity,” he said, adding that “these rules must be implemented when it comes to any region , of any conflict or any political situation, and not to be avoided or ignored, which is what we feel in Libya.

Shoukry, furthermore, lamented the international community for not taking any “strict” measures to ensure the exit of foreign forces from Libya.

Libya was thrown into chaos following the 2011 overthrow and assassination of President Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed uprising, with myriad armed groups and foreign powers scrambling to fill the vacuum of power.

Libya is struggling to reach an agreement between its rival administrations to organize national elections.

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