Berlin, Rome, Paris threaten sanctions on states interfering in Libya

Berlin, Rome, Paris threaten sanctions on states interfering in Libya
Troops loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government are seen in military vehicles as they prepare before heading to Sirte, on the outskirts of Misrata, Libya, July 18, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 18 July 2020

Berlin, Rome, Paris threaten sanctions on states interfering in Libya

Berlin, Rome, Paris threaten sanctions on states interfering in Libya
  • Joint statement issued by EU countries’ leaders on Saturday

BERLIN: The leaders of France, Germany and Italy on Saturday threatened for the first time to use sanctions against countries that continued to violate a United Nations arms embargo on Libya.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte urged "all foreign actors to end their increasing interference and to fully respect the arms embargo established by the United Nations Security Council" in a joint statement issued by the French presidency after meeting in Brussels.
"We are ready to consider the possible use of sanctions if the breaches of the embargo at sea, on land or in the air continue, and look forward to the proposals that the High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy will make in this regard," they said
Turkey has intervened decisively in recent weeks in Libya, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria to help the internationally recognised government based in Tripoli repel a year-long assault by the forces of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.
The Tripoli-based government on Saturday moved fighters closer to Sirte, a gateway to Libya's main oil terminals, which the government says it plans to recapture from Haftar's forces.
Saturday's joint statement was the first time the three major powers had threatened sanctions amid fears of a new escalation on the ground.
"We share serious concerns about the mounting military tensions in this country and the increased risk of regional escalation," they said. "We therefore call on all the Libyan parties and their foreign supporters to immediately cease the fighting and put an end to the ongoing military escalation across the country."
Diplomats have said European Union nations could also consider imposing sanctions on individuals from both Libyan sides. 


Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister

Updated 03 December 2020

Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister

Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister
  • The rise had impacted on each individual’s share of education, health, and available resources, affecting overall demographics: minister

CAIRO: Egypt’s 14-fold population increase between 1882 and 2017 had created a “national problem” that required urgent attention, a government minister has said.

Deputy Minister of Health and Population Tarek Tawfik revealed that over the 135-year period the number of people living in the country had shot up from 6.7 million to 94.8 million.

The rise had impacted on each individual’s share of education, health, and available resources, affecting overall demographics, he added.

“(The population increase) is a national problem that needs to be solved through the collaboration of efforts between all the ministries, governmental, and non-governmental institutions, and the civil society,” Tawfik said.

He pointed out that the Egyptian National Population Council was currently drafting public policy documentation in collaboration with The American University in Cairo (AUC) aimed at resolving some of the country’s population-related issues.

Plans in the pipeline included awareness campaigns on family sizes, food and water security, and sustainability.

The council’s former rapporteur, Dr. Amr Hassan, said that a family planning project due to be launched early next year, would help to cut the birth rate in Egypt by 1 million.

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Leslie Reed, AUC President Francis Joseph Ricciardone, and Tawfik recently launched the Strengthening Egypt’s Family Planning Program (SEFPP) youth competition, part of a $31 million initiative previously signed with the USAID to improve population health results.

Al-Mashat said that improving general healthcare, reproductive health, and family planning services were key to achieving economic empowerment for men and women.

She pointed out that the SEFPP youth competition was aimed at paving the way for the implementation of new and effective solutions to the issues and involved the Egyptian government, educational institutions and universities, youth, and civil society organizations represented by the USAID.

The program was designed to tackle the over-population problem through innovative techniques, developing youth ideas on family planning schemes, and raising awareness throughout the country.