Egypt backs counterterrorism measures in Libya: President El-Sisi meets Khalifa Hafter
Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Egypt under President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi openly backs counterterrorism measures in Libya. Indeed, with political convulsions emerging in Algeria and Sudan respectively, then Egypt seeks to keep Islamist terrorism and Muslim Brotherhood intrigues at bay. After all, Egypt desires regional peace and stability throughout the region.
Egypt did not directly mention the military offensive and advance on taking Tripoli by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar. Yet, images of El-Sisi meeting Haftar are confirming the close relationship that exists between the government of Egypt and forces under Haftar in Libya. Hence, while not directly mentioning the ongoing military offensive in Tripoli, the government of Egypt confirmed its support of counterterrorism measures in Libya.
An official statement in Cairo under the auspices of El-Sisi uttered, “Egypt’s support for efforts to combat terrorism and extremist groups and militias in order to achieve security and stability for the Libyan citizen.”
Reuters reports, “Egypt has close ties with Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) controls the east and swept through the mainly desert south earlier this year before moving to Tripoli ten days ago in a major escalation of conflict.”
Fresh fighting in Tripoli isn’t welcomed openly by leading Western powers. Irrespective of this, it is in the interest of Egypt for regional stability to emerge in Libya because of Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood intrigues in Egypt. Therefore, with political convulsions also spreading in Algeria and Sudan then the international community must listen and fully understand the concerns of Egypt.
It remains to be seen how the fighting will emerge between the LNA and various militias that are linked to the Government of National Accord (GNA). Hence, the flare-up between the LNA and GNA could worsen to a much higher level. Or, international pressure and the results of conflict could lead to a new accord – or a military pull out. Therefore, much remains up in the air in Libya and this equally applies to the real ambitions of the LNA.
Ahram Online states, “During the past week, Eastern-based Libyan forces led by Haftar have been advancing in a push to seize the capital, Tripoli, but troops loyal to Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj’s internationally recognized government have so far kept them at bay.”
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