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09:55, 05 August 2014 Tuesday

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Algeria 'refused' military intervention in Libya
Algeria 'refused' military intervention in Libya

"Algeria has not yet responded to the Egyptian proposal, which is backed by the U.S. and France," a source said.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Algeria has rejected a request to intervene militarily in neighboring Libya to restore stability to the violence-wracked country, an Algerian diplomatic source said Monday.

"Former Libyan lawmakers and officials had visited Algeria in late June and asked for an Algerian military intervention to impose legitimacy in the capital Tripoli and repel warring militias," the source told Anadolu Agency.

According to the source, the proposal was backed by the Arab League, the United States, Egypt and France.

"But senior Algerian officials told the Libyan envoys that Algeria refuses to militarily intervene outside its borders even under international mandate," the source said.

Meanwhile, the source said that Egypt awaits an Algerian response to a proposal to provide military support to Libyan forces.

"Algeria has not yet responded to the Egyptian proposal, which is backed by the U.S. and France," the source added.

There was no comment from Egypt or Algeria on the report.

Last month, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal ruled out any military intervention in neighboring countries.

Libya has been plagued by heavy fighting between a loosely organized army and militias that clung to their weapons following a bloody uprising that ended the autocracy of long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The capital Tripoli has been the scene of fierce clashes between warring militias over control of several vital facilities in the city.

Benghazi, the country's second largest city, has also turned into a battlefield between troops loyal to reneged general Khalifa Haftar and Ansar Al-Sharia militia.

Egypt denies plans for military intervention in Libya

Egypt has denied reports about planning a military intervention in next-door Libya to halt violence in the troubled Arab country.

"There is no talk of intervention of any kind in Libya," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri told a press conference on Monday following talks with Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

"The main mission of the Egyptian army is to secure and protect Egyptian borders," he added.

Shoukri said that Egypt supports political dialogue to resolve the conflict in Libya.

Earlier Monday, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called on fighting militias in Libya to lay down their arms and engage in dialogue to end violence in the country.

Speaking during a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi, al-Sisi said Egypt was keen to cement cooperation and coordination with Libya's neighbors, according to presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi.

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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.