Eighteen Egyptian fishermen who were arrested in the Libyan city of Misrata after entering Libyan territorial waters have been released, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has said.
A statement issued by the ministry said the fishermen were handed over to the Egyptian Embassy on Saturday. The embassy is currently completing procedures for them to travel to Benghazi, from where they will be transported by land to Cairo.
Amr Roshdy, spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, said Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr discussed the issue with Libyan officials during his visit to Tripoli in mid-September.
He added that the Egyptian Embassy has managed to secure the release of two Egyptians who were detained in Misrata prison.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has said it is keen on preserving the properties and financial rights of Egyptians who left Libya, and added that the Libyan National Council is giving a lot of attention to this issue.
Before Libya’s revolution, about 2 million Egyptians resided and worked in the neighboring country, but after the eruption of anti-Qaddafi protests, which turned into an all-out civil war, around 500,000 Egyptians returned home.
Ahmed Ragheb, assistant foreign minister, on Saturday said that Egypt’s ministries of foreign affairs and manpower are determining the financial rights of all Egyptians who left Libya during the revolution.
He added that these matters will be discussed with Libyan officials as soon as the situation in Libya stabilizes and a new government is formed.