Egypt withdraws from Arab League meeting amid Libya presidency row
Meeting chaired by Libyan foreign minister in outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh
Egypt withdrew from an Arab League meeting on Tuesday in protest of chairing the session by the Libyan foreign minister in the outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.
The 158th ordinary session of the Cairo-based Arab League opened earlier Tuesday in the Egyptian capital under the presidency of Najla al-Mangoush.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry left the meeting over al-Mangoush’s chairing the meeting, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid told the state news agency MENA.
“This topic has been discussed in the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers before the start of the official session,” he said. “We have to wait for the outcomes of the meetings throughout the day in this regard.”
Al-Mangoush, for her part, termed the Egyptian withdrawal as a “violation” of the Arab League charter and UN Security Council resolutions.
“We respect the withdrawal of the Egyptian foreign minister, but disagree with it as it violates the Arab League charter and UN Security Council resolutions,” she told a press conference.
"The National Unity Government is supported by international conventions, and it is the last national transitional government till holding elections," al-Mangoush added.
Egyptian media earlier reported that the government of Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed by the east Libya-based parliament as prime minister in March, has protested al-Mangoush’s chairing of the Arab League meeting.
Dbeibeh, the head of the Tripoli-based National Unity Government, has refused to step down, insisting he will only cede authority to a government that comes through an "elected parliament," raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.
Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.
*Ikram Imane Kouachi in Ankara contributed to this report
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