Spokesman of Libyan National Army (LNA) colonel Ahmed Al Masmary gestures during a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, March 3, 2017. Picture taken March 3, 2017. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
CAIRO, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian National Committee on Libya met Monday to discuss the latest developments in Libya and urged Libyans to seize Cairo initiative as a historic chance to end the inter-Libyan conflict, said the Egyptian military spokesman in a statement.
"The committee believes that the Libyans have a historic chance to take the initiative lead and go to the dialogue table to reach a Libyan agreement that blocks the way for attempts of foreign interference," Egyptian Military Spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in the statement.
Formed in 2016, the military-oriented Egyptian committee on Libya reaffirmed that a political solution is "the only way" out of the Libyan crisis, appreciating the responses of the Libyan House of Representatives and the Higher State's Council that are currently naming representatives for a joint committee whose formation has recently been agreed in Cairo.
"The Egyptian committee will continue its efforts to support the Libyan joint committee once formed, in cooperation with the United Nations, to reach a settlement satisfactory for the Libyan people to end the current crisis and open a new stage of prevailing security and stability in Libya," said the military spokesperson.
Following the ouster and killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libyan factions engaged in a state of civil war that escalated in 2014 and resulted in splitting power between two rival governments in capital Tripoli and Tubruk, northwestern and northeastern Libya.
Tubruk government was recognized by the international community then, before the Libyan Presidential Council (PC) was established in late 2015 as a unity government following a UN-brokered peace deal between warring Libyan factions reached in Skhirat, Morocco.
Supported by self-proclaimed Libyan national army led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, the parliament-backed government in Tubruk refuses to recognize the UN-backed, Tripoli-based unity government, known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is run by the PC.
Egypt, which has recently hosted several meetings of Libyan factions, refrains from recognizing the GNA, saying it is up to the Libyan people to determine their own government, yet Egypt repeatedly expressed support for the Libyan parliament and its government and for strongman Haftar's crackdown on militants in Libya.
In January, Cairo hosted top diplomats from Libya and its neighboring states, namely Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Tunisia, as well as the Arab League (AL) chief and UN envoy, who issued a communique urging Libyan dialogue and reiterating rejection of any foreign military interference in the war-torn country.
In mid-February, Egypt managed to get Haftar and GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj to Cairo but failed to convince the two rivals to hold direct talks.
A week later, the foreign ministers of Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt met in Tunisia and said that the Libyan settlement must imperatively be political and it has to integrate all concerned Libyan parties.
Despite inability to have Haftar and Sarraj in tete-a-tete talks, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said earlier in March, in a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that Cairo's efforts "did not fail" but it would need more effort and communication.