All progress in Libya by the forces of the National Unity Government (GNA) supported by Turkey is likely to lead to “direct” intervention by Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi threatened on Saturday. For the Egyptian president, Sirte represents a “red line”, he warned.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned on Saturday, June 20 that any progress by Turkish-backed forces by the National Unity Government (GNA) against the strategic city of Syrteen Libya could lead to “direct” intervention by Cairo.
With support from Ankara, forces loyal to the UN-recognized Tripoli-based GNA have gained significant victories since the beginning of June and once again gained control of the entire Northwest Libya. reports to Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
The rival troops of the eastern Libyan strongman, supported by Egypt, among others, have backed up in recent weeks, indicating the failure of their Tripoli offensive launched in April 2019.
However, GNA’s forces remain hampered in their progress toward the coastal city of Sirte, strategically locking east and under the control of Marshal Haftar.
GNA condemns an intervention from Egypt
The birthplace of ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Sirte, as well as Al-Joufra further south, represents a “red line”, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi warned, during a speech broadcast on television.
If this line is crossed, Egypt’s security, which shares a porous border with Libya, will require “direct intervention” by Egyptian forces in the country, he said.
“All direct Egyptian interventions have become legitimate at international level, whether under the UN Charter of Self-Defense or based on the only legitimate authority chosen by the Libyan people: the Libyan Parliament” based in the east, Abdel Fattah said. Sissi. “If the Libyan people ask us to intervene, it is a signal to the world that Egypt and Libya share (…) common interests, security and stability,” he added.
For GNA, this is “interference with (internal) affairs and a serious threat to Libya’s national security” and “international peace,” said Mohamad Amari Zayed, a member of the GNA presidency.
“There can be no red lines within our borders and in our countries,” he said. “No foreign party will have authority over its people.”
For Ankara, Egypt is trying to save time
Ankara for its part demanded the withdrawal of troops from Marshal Haftar from the city of Sirte on Saturday as a prerequisite for weapons of arms.
These consecutive warnings will, following the invitation of Cairo, and refused Friday night by GNA, to attend an emergency meeting on Libya in the Arab League, whose headquarters are based in the Egyptian capital.
GNA and Turkey expressed their skepticism and considered the Egyptian initiative as a way to save time for Marshal Haftar, who is also supported by the United Arab Emirates and Russia.