World Bulletin / News Desk
Egyptian interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said on Friday that the recent kidnapping of five Egyptian diplomats in Libya would not affect the two country's bilateral relations.
"Our relationship with Libya is firm and stable," al-Beblawi said at a joint press conference with Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan, who arrived in Cairo on Thursday.
Relations between Egypt and Libya were shaken last week when militants from the Revolutionaries Operations Room, an armed Libyan group, kidnapped five diplomats from Egypt's embassy in Tripoli.
The kidnappings were in response to the arrest last week by Egyptian authorities of the group's former leader, Shabaan Hediya.
The five diplomats were freed the following day, moments after Egyptian authorities released Hediya.
Al-Beblawi, however, asserted that Hediya's release had "nothing to do with the kidnapping of our diplomats," stressing the incident would not affect bilateral relations.
For his part, Zeidan said the incident would "not change bilateral relations in any way," adding that the two neighbors should step up security along the Egypt-Libya border to stop arms smuggling.
"Both countries are in a state of revolution, which has greatly affected the security situation," Zeidan said.
"There are no guarantees that the kidnapping incident will not be repeated," he added, "but [the Libyan authorities] will do their utmost to protect Egyptian embassy personnel."
Zeidan announced at Friday's press conference that preparations were underway for a convention for Libyan investors in Cairo, pointing to "sizeable economic and educational" cooperation between the two countries.
Prior to Zeidan's visit, a diplomatic source had said that the Libyan premier was also scheduled to meet with Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, interim President Adly Mansour and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi.Last Mod: 01 Şubat 2014, 10:01