The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Libyan National Unity Government issued a statement denouncing what it described as Egypt’s interference in Libyan affairs and an infringement of national sovereignty after a report by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry told the National Unity Government headed by Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, as expired.
The Libyan statement comes amid an escalation of an extended diplomatic and political crisis between the Dabaiba government on the one hand and the Egyptian side on the other, against the background of Egyptian support for the counter-government mandated by the Libyan Parliament led by Fathi Bashagha, at a time when Dabaiba adheres to the legitimacy of his government until general elections are held in The country, which was supposed to take place on December 24, before it was postponed indefinitely for many reasons, the most important of which is the security chaos and the lack of political agreement on the constitutional rules regulating the elections.
The differences were made public through a statement by the Foreign Ministry of the Government of National Unity, in which it said that its Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Mr Muhammad Khalil Issa, had summoned the Chargé d’Affairs of the Egyptian Embassy in Libya to inform him of the government’s dissatisfaction with the wrong way in which Libyan citizens are treated during their entry and exit from Egyptian lands through Salloum land port, which includes waiting inside the passport hall for long hours of up to fifteen hours without taking into humanitarian account cases and without clarity of reasons or legal obstacles that lead to this, in addition to the ill-treatment that amounts to infringing and insulting Libyan travellers.
The statement said that the Egyptian Chargé d’Affairs had expressed his rejection of these heinous acts and that they were unacceptable and reprehensible. He will seriously convey these problems to the competent Egyptian authorities and provide the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs with what will be responded to. However, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry responded in a statement by its spokesperson, Ahmed Hafez, denying what was attributed to the head of the Egyptian diplomatic mission in the Libyan report and stressing that the Egyptian government provides all means of care and good treatment to the Libyan brothers in their second country, Egypt, considering the brotherly relations and ties and the historical relationship between the two countries and the two fraternal peoples.
Hafez added that the work of the Egyptian-Libyan Joint Consular Committee was scheduled to be held on May 24, 2022, in Cairo, during which all consular issues related to the conditions of the two countries’ communities would be addressed in a way that would contribute to overcoming any obstacles in this regard. Still, the Libyan side requested that it be postponed, which was clarified on more than one occasion to the Libyan authorities, including during the meeting of the head of the Egyptian diplomatic mission today with the Libyan Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs. Then the statement concluded by saying, “It is not surprising that some parties try to deal with inaccurate data in an attempt to divert attention, especially with the date of today, June 22, 2022, the date of the expiry of the road map of the Political Dialogue Forum and the mandate of the Libyan National Unity Government emanating from it.”
This statement was denounced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of National Unity and considered an interference in the Libyan issue and an infringement on national sovereignty, considering that the political process is national ownership of the Libyans alone. No state can set the start or end date of national political dates, explaining that the Geneva Agreement emphasized the end of the transitional phase by holding elections and making appointments that are regulatory and not binding. Such statements have severe repercussions on the security and stability of Libya and that Libya, with its leadership and youth, can decide its fate.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised what was stated in the United Nations statement. It urged it to refrain from using the date of June 22 as a tool for political manipulation. Relations between Egypt and the national unity government emanating from the United Nations are witnessing a significant dispute following the Egyptian support for the Libyan Parliament and the government stemming from it, led by Fathi Bashagha, in confronting it.