After the deadlock in Cairo last month, which culminated with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's brief resignation as Libyan head of State, Egypt and Libya have resumed high level talks on their proposed merger.
After the deadlock in Cairo last month, which culminated with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's brief resignation as Libyan head of State, Egypt and Libya have resumed high level talks on their proposed merger. On Saturday (August 4), an Egyptian delegation led by Deputy Premier and Minister of Culture Dr. Abdel Kader Hatem and including Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Mr. Mamdouh Salem, Minister of State for Youth Dr. Kamel Aboul Magd and Minister of Education Dr. Kamel Leilah, left for Tripoli to negotiants with a Libyan team headed by prime Minister Abdel Salem Jalloud.
They were joined on the following day (Sunday 5th) by Egyptian Secretary for Information Mr. Asharf Marawan, who was reported to be bearing a personal message for Colonel Gaddafi from President Sadat. The two leaders had failed to agree last month on the Libyan demands for an immediate merger and the application of Moslem religious laws in Egypt. The breakdown of the July talks set thousands of Libyans marching on Cairo in an apparent attempt to carry their won cultural revolution across the border. They were turned back before they reached the capital.
Both countries will hold plebiscites on the union on September let and observers expect the present negotiations in Tripoli to result in a compromise providing for a formal announcement of unity after the referendum, but for the actual amalgamation to be phased out over a longer period.
SYNOPSIS: At Cairo Airport on Saturday, a top Egyptian delegation left for Libya to resume talks on the union of the two countries. Led by Deputy Premier and Culture Minister Dr. Abdel Kader Hatem, the party included Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Mr. Mamdouh Salem, Minister of State for Youth Dr. Kamel Aboul Magd and Education Minister Dr. Kamel Leilah.
They were to discuss with Libyan Premier Abdel Salem Jalloud ways and means of effecting the confederation. The people of both nations go to the polls on the issue on September 1st. It was Egypt's refusal to agree to Colonel Gaddafi's demand for immediate amalgamation that led to the failure of last month's Cairo summit and to the Colonel's brief resignation. Now, observers expect a compromise in Tripoli that will lead to the announcement of the union directly after the referendum, but for its application to be phased out over a longer period of time.