Libya’s UN-recognized Gov’t Calls Egypt Threat ‘Declaration of War’
Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has denounced as a “declaration of war” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s threat to intervene military in the war-torn country. “Interference in [Libya’s] internal affairs, attacks on its sovereignty, whether by declarations … like those of the Egyptian president or by support for putschists, militias and mercenaries is unacceptable,” the GNA said in a statement. It was released after el-Sisi over the weekend warned that the possible advance of pro-GNA forces on the strategic city of Sirte could prompt a “direct” response by Cairo. While touring an airbase adjacent to his nation’s 1,200-kilometer frontier with Libya, he told military personnel at the site: “Be prepared to carry out any mission here inside our borders or, if necessary, outside our borders.” The call for heightened preparedness comes amid growing tensions between Egypt and Turkey, which earlier this year sent troops to Libya in support of the GNA, which is based in Tripoli. Cairo, along with the United Arab Emirates and Russia, backs strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose self-styled Libyan National Army controls much of the nation’s East and South but which over the past weeks has suffered major setbacks in its year-plus-long campaign to retake the capital. The Arab League was set to discuss address the conflict on Monday but the meeting was pushed back 24 hours.