Egypt’s delegation walks out of Arab League meeting after Libya chairs session

The Egyptian delegation headed by Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, left the Arab League ministerial meeting in Cairo after the Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla Al-Mangoush, had taken the chair as president of the meeting.

Sources said Shoukry rejected the assumption of chair by Libya’s FM of the Government of National Unity (GNU) and had walked out of the meeting after he asked Al-Mangoush to give up presidency of the Arab League’s 158th meeting but she didn’t accept.

The meeting in Cairo is chaired by Libya on the foreign minister’s level. Libya succeeded Lebanon in presidency and this is the first time in nine years.

Why Leave?

The spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Hafiz, said Cairo’s delegation left the Arab League meeting on Tuesday when Libya’s Foreign Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU) Najla Al-Mangoush chaired the meeting to express reservations about the assumption of presidency by a representative of an expired government.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry left the Arab League meeting when the Lebanese Foreign Minister, being chair of the last round, handed over the presidency of the meeting to Libya’s FM.

Libya’s Take

Al-Mangoush commented on the incident by saying that she respected Shoukry’s position but didn’t agree with it, adding that her presence at the meeting is backed up internationally as the GNU is the Libyan transitional government that is recognized by the international community as per Berlin and Paris conferences.

She addressed the Arab League members, saying the GNU’s stance against war makes it necessary that Libya’s case is not only an item of discussion on the agenda of the Arab League Council, inviting her counterparts to convene the next meeting in Libya’s capital Tripoli, and she explained that the support of Arab countries could allow Libya to hold elections as per fair and transparent laws.

“The Libyan people have suffered enough of wars, division, terrorism and the consequences of foreign interference in the past years, and the Prime Minister (Dbeibah) maintains his firm position about holding national elections in Libya.” She said, calling on the legislative authority in Libya to agree on a constitutional basis for elections.

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