The first foreign visit of Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, head of the interim Libyan government, after his election, was to Egypt. This visit has sent various messages to regional and global powers.
Ten years have passed since the Libyan revolution toppled Muammar Gaddafi and turned into a civil war that lasted for a decade.
The return of official relations between Cairo and Tripoli, with such speed and force, was not surprising to any party, whether in Egypt or Libya.
The official presence of Cairo in the Libyan capital represents an important step for the political and democratic course in the country.
Thus, Egypt’s move to reopen its embassies in Tripoli opens the door for Arab countries to resume their diplomatic activities, and to return again to the Libyan capital, which was controlled by the militias and the Turkish regime.
Now, with the election of a new presidential council and an interim government to resolve the state of division, all eyes are turning to the regional powers affecting the Libyan crisis, and how they deal with the emerging political situation in Libya.
Over the past decade, Egypt has played a pivotal role in the Libyan conflict, as it has strongly supported the Libyan National Amy, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the House of Representatives led by Aguila Saleh, based in Tobruk, in eastern Libya.
However, last week witnessed the appointment of a temporary presidential council, led by former diplomat Mohamed Menfi, under the auspices of the United Nations.
Some observers consider the members of the list, which is supposed to receive the recommendation of Parliament in the coming days, as close to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
I believe that the response came fast by the newly-appointed PM who made Cairo his foreign destination.
“Today, I had the honor to receive my brother the new Libyan Prime Minister Mr. Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. We held consultations on the most important common issues between Egypt and Libya and confirmed Egypt’s strong keenness to support the Libyan people in completing the mechanisms for running their country and establishing the foundations of peace and stability in order to preserve the Libyans’ capabilities and enforce their will,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi tweeted after meeting with Dbeibah.
Last week, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced that an official delegation visited Libya, to explore the possibility of reopening the Egyptian embassy in Tripoli and the consulate in Benghazi, and this was preceded by another visit by the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence, Abbas Kamel, to Libya in which he met Haftar and Saleh.
Moreover, Libyan Airlines announced the resumption of its flights to Egypt after a 14-month hiatus.
The new executive authority, according to initial indications, enjoys regional acceptance, but it still has to find a balanced relationship with international parties, which have conflicting interests in Libya.
Egypt enjoys great political intelligence and diplomatic flexibility in addition to the weight and positive presence of all different segments of Libyan society, which enabled it to play a distinguished role throughout the previous difficult periods.
In my opinion, Egypt did not declare war in Libya on one side against another, but rather sided with the security and stability of Libya at the expense of terrorists and foreign mercenaries who threatened the fate of the Libyan soil, after they wasted the strength and capabilities of the Libyan people.
I believe that Egypt since the beginning has supported peaceful solutions to end the war in Libya, and to stop the expansion of terrorism inside Libya.
This article was prepared by Nawal Sayed in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of SEE or its members.