Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi on Saturday inaugurated a new strategic naval base on the Mediterranean Sea near the border with Libya, aimed at securing shipping lines along the country’s northern and western fronts, the president’s office said. The base, named “July 3” for the date in 2013 in which el-Sisi ousted then-President Mohammed Morsi in a military coup, is located 158 miles (255 kilometers) west of Alexandria and houses an airstrip and a kilometer-long pier. The opening ceremony was attended by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and by the chairman of neighboring Libya’s Presidential Council, Mohamed al-Menfi. Both Egypt and the UAE were heavily involved in the decadelong Libyan civil war following the overthrow of strongman Moammar Gadhafi. The two countries, along with Russia, backed the eastern Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who fought the internationally recognized Government of National Accord based in Tripoli. The crisis was partially resolved in November when a transitional government was formed following prolonged UN-led talks.
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