South African president welcomes Cairo Declaration to find a political solution to Libya conflict
CAPE TOWN, June 15 (ANA) – South African president and chairman of the African Union (AU) Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s initiative to find a comprehensive political settlement to the armed conflict in Libya.
Ramaphosa and El-Sisi discussed the ongoing conflict in Libya as well as the latest regional developments during a telephone call on Saturday.
Ramaphosa asserted that the Cairo Declaration was consistent with the AU’s efforts in Libya, which were aimed at settling the Libyan crisis peacefully, wrote Egyptian publication Daily News Egypt.
The oil-rich north African country has been trapped in a civil war since the 2011 ousting of former long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi. Two rival factions are vying for the seat of power in the capital Tripoli, namely the Eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by Khalifa Haftar and the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
Last week, El-Sisi announced the Egyptian initiative to settle the crisis, including a ceasefire. The initiative is meant to pave the way for elections in Libya. He warned that there could be no military solution to the war, reported news outlet See News.
According to Egyptian presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady, El-Sisi and Ramaphosa also discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), as talks continue between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt about the filling of the dam, wrote See News.
In April 2011, Ethiopia announced plans to construct one of the largest dams in the world, previously known as Project X and now known as the GERD, according to environmental organisation International Rivers.
The US$4.5-billion mega project has been at the centre of back-and-forth negotiations, with the Sudanese government recently warning against filling the reservoir of the GERD without itself, Egypt and Ethiopia signing an agreement on the matter .
Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have been in talks for years regarding the filling of the reservoir, with Egypt concerned that filling the dam will severely reduce its water supply.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher
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