al-akhbar.com/Libya, Egypt to coordinate on countering terrorism

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-Libya and Egypt are coordinating on border security and training army and police with a view to countering terrorism, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said Wednesday.

Addressing a joint press conference with Egyptian counterpart Ibrahim Mahlab, al-Thinni said the two states were cooperating to enhance the fighting capabilities of the Libyan army and training police forces in all fields.

“Terrorism is widespread all across the region,” al-Thinni asserted.

Mahlab, for his part, stressed Egypt’s support for Libya’s “legitimate” government, adding that both countries were coordinating in all fields.

Earlier Wednesday, al-Thinni held talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on a host of issues, topped by the fight against terrorism.

During the talks, Egypt offered to train pro-government forces battling rival armed groups in Libya, stepping up efforts to eradicate what it says is a threat to its own stability from the anarchy engulfing its neighbor.

Egyptian military officials and representatives of pro-government Libyan forces have met several times over the past two months in Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Marsa Matrouh, Egyptian security officials said.

An intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “intelligence and training” assistance were on the table. The Egyptian government spokesman declined comment, but Ahmed Buzeyad Al-Missmari, spokesman of the Libyan General Chief of Staff, confirmed Egypt had offered training for troops.

Libya has been dogged by political instability since the 2011 ouster and death of long-standing ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

In the three years since, rival militias have frequently clashed in Libya’s main cities – including capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi – while the central government has remained largely absent from the scene.

The sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions.

Two assemblies currently vie for legislative authority: a newly-elected House of Representatives, which convenes in the eastern city of Tobruk; and the outgoing General National Congress, which – though its mandate expired in August – continues to convene in Tripoli.

The two parliaments support two rival governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.

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