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The New Arab Staff

Saudi Arabia, UAE 'support' Egypt's threat of military intervention in Libya

The Arab League is planning a virtual emergency conference on Libya at Egypt's behest [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 June, 2020

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Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expressed their support for Egypt's threat to launch a military intervention in Libya.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have voiced their support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's threat to launch a military intervention in Libya, according to news reports.

In a televised address on Saturday, Sisi warned that advances by Libyan government forces on the city of Sirte could prompt an Egyptian military intervention in Libya to support eastern-based rogue general, Khalifa Haftar.

The key city of Sirte, located some 450 kilometres east of the capital Tripoli, is under the control of Haftar's forces. 

Sisi said Sirte is a "red line" for Egypt, citing the need to protect its porous border as grounds for "direct intervention" in Libya.

In a statement through state news agency SPA, Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said the kingdom supports Sisi's remarks and "stands by Egypt in its right to defend its borders and people".

The UAE's foreign ministry stated that the UAE "stands with Egypt in all its measures to protect its security and stability from the repercussions of the disturbing developments in Libya, according to Arabi21.

The UAE, which backs Haftar, also praised "Cairo's keenness to prevent the bloodshed of the sons of the Libyan people, create urgent conditions for a ceasefire and start negotiations for a comprehensive political process under the auspices of the United Nations."

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord denounced Sisi's remarks, saying any intervention would be a "continuation of the war on the Libyan people" and a "dangerous threat to national security".

"There can be no 'red line' within our borders," said Mohammed Amari Zayed, a member of the GNA's presidential council. "We reject any bid aimed at dividing the Libyan people or their territory... (and) we categorically reject any bid to impose guardianship on Libya."

Turkey, which backs the GNA, has vowed to continue supporting the GNA's push for Sirte and urged Haftar's forces to withdraw from the city for a "sustainable ceasefire".

The Arab League is organising a virtual emergency conference on Libya at Egypt's behest, which the GNA plans to boycott.

Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, mercenaries, and jihadists since the 2011 revolution which toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

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