Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned Monday of Turkey’s “confusing role” in African countries, particularly Libya.
The international community should be “credible” and hold accountable those who support terrorist groups, and not only hold international counter-terrorism conferences, Shoukry told Extra News on the sidelines of the AU, held in Addis Ababa 10-11 February.
African countries play a leading role in the Libyan crisis and coordinate with the UN to help Libyan factions reach a consensus, but some entities that “support terrorism” hinder these efforts by sending arms and funds to terrorist organizations, he said.
“[All] parties can make positive contributions (in the Libyan crisis) as long as their actions comply with African objectives and do not interfere in internal affairs or conspire against nations’ capabilities, ” he added.
In the past three months, several Turkish shipments carrying weapons were seized at Libyan ports. Most recently, a shipment carrying armored vehicles and military body armors coming from Turkey was seized at Khoms Port on Wednesday.
For its part, Egypt seeks security and stability in its western neighbor, Shoukry said, adding that fully securing the roughly 110-kilometer long border with Libya remains a major security challenge for Cairo due to the Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda and armed groups that spread across Libya and occasionally attack Egypt therefrom.
He continued that the African Union also pays great attention to Libyan issues, as the situation in Libya will negatively affect the entire continent.
The AU, with the participation of Libya, decided to organize an international conference in July in the Ethiopian capital in hopes to resolve the Libyan crisis and hold elections in October. France and Italy held similar conferences in 2018 but have thus far failed to reach tangible results.