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Kerry and Sisi Talk Libya and Mideast Peace

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo. REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss Libya, Syria, and the Egyptian president’s ideas on how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The meeting followed a summit in Vienna between 25 nations on how to end conflicts in Libya and Syria, with the international community pledging their support to Libya’s new Government of National Accord (GNA).

In a statement after the meeting, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said they had discussed a “range of bilateral and regional issues, including recent developments on Libya and Syria.”

During the meeting Kerry “stressed the importance of Egypt’s role as a regional partner”, Toner said.

Sisi believes that Israelis and Palestinians have an opportunity for peacemaking and that a deal between Israel and Palestine would give safety and stability to both sides.

On Sunday Kerry met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss ways on how to end conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen.  Kerry and King Salman discussed US-Saudi cooperation as well as developments in the region, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

The international community sees the unification of Libya under the GNA is the country’s best hope at creating a unified and democratic Libya which is able to defeat the growing ISIS threat and stop the influx of refugees who use the North African country as their destination point to cross the Mediterranean for Europe.

During the meeting in Vienna on Monday, world powers agreed to partially lift the arms embargo placed on Libya in order to provide weapons to the GNA to aid in their fight against ISIS and help them gain authority in the fractured country.

In an effort to bolster the GNA, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order sanctioning any Libyans who are obstructing the GNA or taking steps to undermine its authority.

Last week the US Treasury Department sanctioned Aguila Saleh, the President and speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) for his repeated efforts at obstructing meetings between HoR members to give a vote of confidence to the GNA.

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