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Sunday, 14 November 2021

El Sisi urges exit of foreign fighters from Libya as world powers threaten sanctions at Paris meeting

Global powers threatened to impose sanctions on anyone that attempts to disrupt plans to hold elections in Libya at an international conference in Paris last week. The meeting, attended by 27 countries — among them France, Libya, Egypt, Germany and Italy — was called to agree a roadmap for national elections to take place in the war-torn country next month, and came as the nation’s interim government struggles to agree on a electoral process amid growing factional disputes.

El Sisi calls for action on foreign mercenaries: In a speech at the meeting, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi renewed calls for all foreign fighters to be withdrawn from Libya and urged world powers to condemn nations that continue to deploy troops inside the country. A UN-sponsored agreement last month is attempting to gradually withdraw foreign fighters, and ahead of the meeting, forces in the east of the country agreed to repatriate 300 troops from their territory, according to Reuters.

Also from the summit: El Sisi held talks with French President Emmanual Macron and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire ahead of the meeting, discussing bilateral ties and French investment in the Egyptian economy. He also reiterated Egypt’s support for Tunisia’s new government during a meeting with the country’s new prime minister, Najla Bouden, who was installed by President Kais Saied in September after dissolving parliament and suspending most of the constitution.

Egypt and Tanzania hold talks on the GERD: El Sisi and Tanzanian president Samia Hassan agreed to “increase coordination” between the two countries over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Back to the negotiating table? Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry hinted last week at a possible resumption of negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over GERD. “There are ongoing meetings with the African Union to push for a return to negotiations,” Shoukry said.

El Sisi commended the construction of the Julius Nyerere Dam in Tanzania, currently being built by ElSewedy Electric and Arab Contractors under a USD 2.9bn contract. “This project is an example of Egypt’s support for the rights of Nile Basin countries to make the best use of their water resources in a way that does not impact other countries negatively,” President Sisi said.

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