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Iran Press TV

Libya denounces Egypt's threats of military intervention

Iran Press TV

Friday, 17 July 2020 5:40 AM

Libya has denounced the Egyptian president's recent threats of military intervention in the North African country to support forces of renegade strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday that he "will not stand idle" against threats to national security and could arm Libyan tribes against the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

He made the remarks at a meeting with tribal leaders backing Haftar, whose forces are fighting the Serajj government.

Haftar's forces, backed by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Russia, began their offensive in April 2019 in an attempt to seize Tripoli and unseat the government of Sarraj.

Al-Sisi said, "The red lines that we have announced are primarily a call for peace and the end of conflict in Libya."

"But we will not stand idle in the face of any moves that pose a direct threat to the national, strategic security on our western borders, especially during increased military mobilization around the city of Sirte," he added.

Libyan government forces have been able to push the rebels as far back in the country as the city of Sirte, on the Mediterranean coastline.

Al-Sisi said last month that the cities of Sirte and Jufra were a red line for Egypt.

Libya says Sisi fueling conflict

Libya's Foreign Ministry spokesperson described Sisi's recent remarks as "blatant interference in Libyan internal affairs."

Mohammed al-Qablawi told Al Jazeera that Sisi's remarks were "not aimed at peace as he said, but it is he who is fueling the conflict."

Sisi's remarks came days after an eastern-based parliament allied to Haftar called for Egyptian military intervention in the North African country.

It said on Monday that the Egyptian armed forces "have the right to intervene to protect Libyan and Egyptian national security if they see an imminent threat to the security of our two countries."

Sisi threatened last month that his government could launch "external military missions" into Libya.

Egypt's military intervention would further escalate the conflict in Libya, which first plunged into chaos in 2011 when a popular uprising backed by a NATO intervention led to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The United Nations warned last month that the "last thing" Libya needed was more conflict on its territory.

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