CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told a media briefing that the upcoming Libyan elections would be subject to free monitoring, expressing his hope they would lead to the election of a president and parliament representing all Libyans.
During a special meeting with Arab journalists in Washington, Shoukry also expressed his hope that the timeframe set for the elections on Dec. 24 would be respected, saying the election of a new government in Libya would end regional rivalry and also unite the country.
He said an upcoming conference on Libya in Paris should be presented in addition to the two conferences in Berlin, especially with regard to the mandate given to the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission to set a roadmap and timetable for the exit of foreign forces.
He confirmed that he would attend the conference, which he said would confirm the basic principles agreed upon in the Berlin conferences and UN Security Council resolutions on the Libyan crisis.
On the issue of Sudan, the minister said Egypt did not support one side at the expense of another.
“Egypt supports Sudan's stability, and focuses on non-interference in its internal affairs,” he added.
In response to reports of Egypt's non-participation in signing a four-way statement on Sudan and the suggestion that it had withheld its signature, Shoukry said the country was not notified about it, did not see the statement during its formulation, and was not even notified of the timing of its issue.
“When it comes to Sudan, if we found that there was more benefit in issuing a statement than the one issued in the beginning, we would have issued it on our own because our close connection with the people of Sudan goes beyond description.”
He said there were no direct negotiations between Egypt and Iran, and called on Washington to take into account the interests of the region in any negotiations with Tehran.