Saturday,24 February, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1279, (21 - 27 January 2016)
Saturday,24 February, 2018
Issue 1279, (21 - 27 January 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Captives return from Libya

Captives return from Libya
Captives return from Libya
Al-Ahram Weekly

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi personally welcomed home the 20 Egyptians who were captured by Libyan militias earlier this month. The 20, who arrived at Cairo International Airport on 19 January, are all from the same village of Dakuff, in Minya governorate in Upper Egypt.

“We won’t leave any Egyptian in danger in Libya or anywhere else,” Al-Sisi told the press at the airport. “There have been strenuous efforts during the last period, in cooperation with the Libyan army and General Hafter, which resulted in the release of the 20.”

Khalifa Haftar is commander of the Libyan armed forces loyal to the elected, internationally backed government.

Al-Sisi greeted the returning Egyptians and their families. He thanked officials of the Libyan army who he said showed “sincere cooperation” with Egypt to help in the return of the 20 Egyptians “to their homeland”.

The president also urged Egyptians to work in Egypt instead of looking for unsafe opportunities abroad. “There are plenty of job opportunities in Egypt, especially on the country’s current national projects. Soon there will be more job opportunities, so work in these projects to improve your country and yourselves as well,” Al-Sisi said.

The president also thanked the country’s authorities that participated in the return of the captives.

The Egyptians were abducted earlier this month from the city of Al-Jufrah, 750 km from Libya’s capital Tripoli.

Previously, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the ministry would not spare any effort to secure the return of any Egyptian citizen whose life is at risk in Libya, even though there is currently no Egyptian diplomatic mission in the country.

In February 2015 militants from the Islamic State (IS) group beheaded 20 Egyptian Copts on a beach the group said was in Tripoli. Following the murders, Egypt, in coordination with the Libyan army, carried out air strikes against IS targets in Libya, killing 64 militants.

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