President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi announced on Saturday Egypt’s intentions to intervene in Libya, saying: “Any direct military intervention from Egypt in Libya is aimed at a ceasefire and has become an issue of international legitimacy.”
“There are external forces supporting terrorist groups in Libya,” he said. “This poses a threat to Egypt’s national security.”
He warned that any attack on Sirte or the inland Jufra air base by military forces loyal to the Government of National Accord in Tripoli would amount to crossing a “red line.”
“The Egyptian Armed Forces will move into Libya if the Libyans ask them to do so,” he said, referring to the forces led by Khalifa Haftar as “the Libyans.”
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly pressuring Egypt into military intervention, parallel to the Turkish military intervention.
Turkey is currently supporting militants of the Muslim Brotherhood’s groups in Libya, under the umbrella of the so-called Government of National Accord.
On Saturday, el-Sissi spoke while inspecting Egypt’s Air Force and commando units stationed in the Sidi Barrani air base in the country’s western region along the porous desert border with Libya.
After Sissi’s speech, Saudi Arabia expressed “support for Egypt’s right to defend its western borders from terrorism”, while the UAE stated it “stands with Egypt in protecting its security and stability.”
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