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Amid Libya presidency row, Egypt withdraws from Arab League meeting

In protest of the chairing of a session by the Libyan foreign minister in the outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, Egypt withdrew from an Arab League meeting on Tuesday.

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In protest of the chairing of a session by the Libyan foreign minister in the outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, Egypt withdrew from an Arab League meeting on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, in the Egyptian capital, the 158th ordinary session of the Cairo-based Arab League opened under the presidency of Najla al-Mangoush.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid told the state news agency that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry left the meeting over al-Mangoush’s chairing the meeting.

He said, “This topic has been discussed in the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers before the start of the official session,” adding, “We have to wait for the outcomes of the meetings throughout the day in this regard.”

For her part, al-Mangoush termed the Egyptian withdrawal as a “violation” of the Arab League charter and UN Security Council resolutions.

In a press conference, she told, “We respect the withdrawal of the Egyptian foreign minister, but disagree with it as it violates the Arab League charter and UN Security Council resolutions.”

She added, “The National Unity Government is supported by international conventions, and it is the last national transitional government till holding elections.”

The government of Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed by the east Libya-based parliament as prime minister in March, has protested al-Mangoush’s chairing of the Arab League meeting, Egyptian media earlier reported.

Raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war, Dbeibeh, the head of the Tripoli-based National Unity Government, has refused to step down, insisting he will only cede authority to a government that comes through an “elected parliament.”

Since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power, oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil.

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