Egyptian officials hold talks with Libyan government in Tripoli

GNA officials said discussions covered security co-operation and resumption of diplomatic ties

Egyptian security delegation held talks with representatives of Libya's Government of National Accord. Courtesy Fathi Bachagha, Minister for the Interior, Libyan Government of National Accord
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An Egyptian security delegation held talks with representatives of Libya's Government of National Accord in Tripoli on Sunday.

Interior minister for the UN-recognised GNA, Fathi Bachagha, held "a high-level meeting" with the Egyptian delegation, which included the deputy intelligence services chief, his office said.

Imed Trabelsi, head of the Libyan general security body, also attended the meeting.

Sunday's visit was the first made by an official Egyptian delegation to Tripoli since 2014, when Egypt closed its embassy in the Libyan capital due to violence.

The talks covered "ways of strengthening security co-operation" and support for a ceasefire signed in October between rival Libyan sides under UN auspices, the ministry said.

Libya has been riven by conflict since a 2011 Nato-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Two rival administrations have vied for control of the oil-rich country for years, each backed by foreign powers. While the Tripoli-based GNA has been supported by Turkey with fighters and weaponry including drones, supporters of the eastern-based House of Representatives include Egypt and Russia.

Turkish support for the GNA earlier this year helped repel a 14-month offensive against the capital by the eastern forces led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The ceasefire the two sides struck in October has set the stage for elections at the end of 2021.

The delegation also met the GNA's Foreign Minister, Mohamed Taha Siala.

The aim of the talks was to work to "normalise diplomatic relations" between Tripoli and Cairo and to discuss "co-operation in various areas", said Mohammad Elgeblawi, spokesman for the GNA foreign ministry.

According to Mr Elgeblawi, the delegation pledged to reopen the Egyptian consulate "as soon as possible" and to re-establish air links between the two capitals, which have been interrupted for several years.

The visit comes days after Field Marshal Haftar said in a speech that his forces would "prepare to drive out the occupier by faith, will and weapons", referring to Turkish troops operating in support of the GNA.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was in Tripoli on Saturday and vowed that any attack on Turkey's personnel in Libya would be met with force.