Press release | Date: 2015-02-16 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Norway condemns in the strongest possible terms the abhorrent killings committed in the name of the terrorist group ISIL in Libya. Our condolences and deepest sympathy go to the families of the deceased, to Egypt and the Egyptian people. The Coptic Christians are an integral part of Egyptian society,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
It has been reported that 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, held captive by ISIL in Libya, have been killed for no other reason than their beliefs. Norway has long played an active role in seeking to address the vulnerable situation of the Coptic community in the region. Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Church, visited Norway last year on the invitation of the Church of Norway.
‘I am deeply concerned by the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Libya, which indicates that ISIL is gaining a foothold in the country. The attacks carried out in the name of ISIL should serve as a warning for all parties to the internal conflict in Libya, including the self-declared authorities in Tripoli. There is an urgent need for the country to establish a national unity government. The international community needs to be able to cooperate with a single entity in Tripoli in order to address our common challenges, such as the spread of ISIL to Libya and irregular streams of migrants to Europe,’ said Mr Brende.