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Egypt works to achieve common interests, defend Arab region: Shoukry
Al-Sarraj asks for military assistance from Turkey
Published in Daily News Egypt on 23 - 12 - 2019

Egypt's Foreign Minister (FM) Sameh Shoukry said Egypt as a regional power, is working with other parties to achieve common interests of the Arab region, in addition to defending them if necessary, asserting the importance of respecting international law and countries' sovereignty.
Regarding the regional situation, he stressed the need to respect the sovereignty, independence, and integrity of the Arab countries' territories, stopping any foreign intervention aiming at undermining the region.
During the annual conference of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), Shoukry called for a political settlement either in accordance with relevant international resolutions or the national visions that support legitimacy emanating from peoples, and national institutions that maintain the entity of the state.
Explaining the need to reach a solution to the Palestinian issue, he said the solution should guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as the capital.
He also confirmed the importance of continuing efforts made to find a solution to restore stability and security in Libya, and for the national institution to extend their control over all the country's territory.
The situation in Libya and the Turkish intervention created a wide wave of tension in the Mediterranean basin, raising many concerns worldwide.
On Monday, the head of Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj said in a televised speech that he was no other option but to ask for military assitance from Turkey, "we need tanks, air crafts, and drones."
Speaking about the situation in Libya and the Mediterranean, Shoukry said he received on Sunday a phone call from Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, in addition to meeting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
Shoukry discussed with Di Maio the rapidly occurring developments in Libya, stressing the importance of maintaining stability in the Mediterranean basin.
In a quick visit to Cairo arriving from Libya, Dendias met Shoukry to assess the latest developments in Libya. Both ministers affirmed the need for a comprehensive settlement to the crisis with a view to restore security and stability in Libya, noting that this required concerted international efforts and preparations for the Berlin track.
The FM also met with the Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit, to discuss the regional situation, whereby Shoukry affirmed the importance of the Arab League's role in coordinating and consolidating joint Arab action in order to address the challenges facing the Arab region, including the crisis in Libya. In this regard, the two officials exchanged views on means to fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people and to restore security and stability in the country.
Concerning Tripoli's Battle, the spokesperson of Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) Ahmed al-Mesmari, said on Sunday that the LAAF decided to extend the deadline for Misrata militia to withdraw from Tripoli for three days.
He warned against using civil planes to transport weapons in Libya, explaining that the LAAF had monitored a Boeing plane carrying military equipment from Istanbul to Libya.
Mesmari told Reuters that "the army will down and strike any plane" that carries weapons, clarifying that "the civilian status of aircraft is revoked as soon as they are used for military purposes."

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