BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt to host Libya conference

Smoke billows from buildings during clashes between Libyan security forces and armed Islamist groups in the eastern coastal city of Benghazi on August 23, 2014. (AFP/Abdullah Doma)

CAIRO: Egypt is to host a meeting of foreign ministers of Libya and its neighbors Monday, as Islamist militias openly challenge the legitimacy of parliament after seizing Tripoli's airport.

Almost three years after a NATO-backed revolt ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi, Libya has been roiled by fighting between ex-rebels who have formed militias.

The meeting in Cairo Monday will include the foreign ministers of Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad and Niger, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The grouping last met in July when it called for political dialogue and the formation of a council to follow the crisis in Libya.

Fajr Libya, a coalition of Islamist militias, Saturday announced the capture of Tripoli's battered international airport from nationalist militiamen.

The announcement came a day after an unidentified warplane raided Islamist positions around the airport, killing 13 fighters, a Fajr Libya spokesman said.

The Islamists blamed Egypt and the United Arab Emirates for the attack, a charge Cairo denied, and accused them of having acted in collusion with the Libyan parliament.

 

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