Libya's GNA rejects emergency summit on Egypt proposal

Foreign Minister of Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) Mohamed Taher Siala. (File photo: AFP)

The Libyan Government of National Accord rejects for the second time an emergency Arab League summit on Egypt’s proposed resolution for the North African country.

In a tweet, the government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the emergency summit invitation violates article 5, paragraph 10 of the internal system of the League’s council.

The summit, to be held by videoconference because of concerns about coronavirus, was called for by Egypt, a key supporter of the GNA’s eastern-based rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Declaration of war

Earlier on Monday, the GNA’s Presidential Council said that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments that Egypt will defend its national interests were a “declaration of war.”

The statement comes in response to al-Sisi ordering the Egyptian army to be ready to intervene in Libya, where the Turkish-backed GNA took key ground against the Benghazi-based Libyan National Army (LNA) last week.

Egyptian Cairo Initiative ceasefire

Siala complained there had been no prior consultation with his government, even though the meeting concerned Libya, and said the virtual format of the meeting was not appropriate for addressing the thorny issues involved.

The GNA has been in the ascendancy since its Turkish-backed forces defeated a year-long offensive by the LNA, led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, against the capital earlier this month and drove them out of western Libya.

Egypt responded with a peace initiative that was welcomed by fellow LNA supporters but rejected by the GNA and Turkey.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, extremists and mercenaries since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed uprising.

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Last Update: Monday, 22 June 2020 KSA 17:32 - GMT 14:32
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