26 April 2019

North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria Demand Immediate Cease-Fire in Libya

Tunis/Tunisia — The latest developments in Libya took centre stage of a meeting held on Friday in Tunis between Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui and his Algerian counterpart Sabri Boukadoum who is in a two-day working visit to Tunisia (April 25-26).

Speaking at joint press conference held at the end of this meeting, Jhinoaui highlighted the convergence of views between Tunisia and Algeria on the Libyan file. Both countries call for the immediate cease-fire in this country, he added.

"The military option in not a solution in Libya," said Jhinaoui, urging the resumption of dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations so as to reach a political settlement to the crisis.

He further indicated that a near date has been scheduled for the holding of a tripartite meeting (Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt) as part of the tripartite initiative initiated since February 2018.

For his part, Boukadoum stressed that the deterioration of the security situation in Libya threatens the stability in Tunisia and Algeria. The ongoing fighting can create a climate of tension in the whole region, he estimated.

"We cannot stand by and watch the bombardment of a Maghreb capital," he said, estimating that dialogue is the sole way to end the crisis.

Initiatives are ongoing for the holding in Tunis of a meeting between FMs of Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt in Tunis. A meeting that aims to co-ordinate efforts of the three countries so as to put an end to the tension in Libya and resume political negotiations, the Foreign Ministry said.

Jhinaoui is resuming contacts and consultations with the different regional and international stakeholders to speed up the stopping of the military fighting in Libya.

Since the start on April 4 of the fighting in several Libyan regions and surrounding the capital Tripoli, Tunisia has increased contacts with the Libyan parties to urge them to stop the bloodshed of the Libyan people and to put an end to the military escalation.

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