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Libya crisis: Egypt president meets Italian PM after Moscow deal flop


Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi on Tuesday met with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Cairo to discuss a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

The meeting is the latest diplomatic effort to end conflict in the country, which is currently ruled by two rival leaders – General Khalifa Haftar in the east, and the United Nations (UN) backed Fayez Sarraj in Tripoli in the north.

The meeting between the Italian premier and the Egyptian president came after talks between the rival Libyan leaders broke down during a summit in Moscow, Russia, on January 13, with neither party agreeing to a cease-fire.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sought to downplay the talks’ failure, saying Tuesday efforts to broker a peace deal will continue.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is inviting world powers to a summit in Berlin on Sunday to discuss efforts to broker peace in Libya.

Merkel’s office said in a statement Tuesday that the German leader had decided to host the meeting after consulting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Germany has invited Fayez al-Sarraj, who heads the U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli, and Gen. Khalifa Hifter of the rival Libyan National Army to the Jan. 19 meeting.

Officials from the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, United Arab Emirates, Turkey as well as several African and Arab countries are also invited.

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