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Egypt, Saudi Arabia supports Libya polls, demand non-interference

Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah (3rd R) smiles after registering his candidacy for next month's presidential election in the capital Tripoli on November 21   -  
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MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP or licensors


Egypt and Saudi Arabia are seeking ways to help Libya attain its stability as the north African country heads to a presidential election next week.

On Thursday Egypt's chief diplomat Sameh Shukry and his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan in Cairo said it was important for the Libyan presidential elections to go ahead as scheduled.

In a joint news conference, Shukry and Farhan said it was important for the Libyan presidential elections to go ahead as scheduled.

The election, meant to help unify the nation after a decade of civil war, is supposed to take place in just over a week, but calls are mounting for a delay.

The vote, scheduled for Dec. 24, is to choose Libya's first president since the ouster and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi more than a decade ago.

For nearly a year, the election has been the lynchpin of international efforts to bring peace to the oil-rich North African nation, and supporters fear a dangerous void if it is not held on schedule.

But critics warn that going ahead with the vote now could throw the country into new violence.

At the joint news conference, Farhan also touched on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, expressed support for Egypt's position in relation to a controversial dam in Ethiopia on the Nile River's main tributary, and said he valued Egypt's stance on the conflict in Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

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