El-Sisi tells West to keep out of Libya

Updated 18 March 2016

El-Sisi tells West to keep out of Libya

ROME: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has warned Western powers Libya could spiral out of control if they try to intervene militarily in the conflict-wracked North African state. Speaking in a rare interview, the military-backed ruler of one of the region’s biggest powers said the West and its allies should instead concentrate on strengthening the army of Libya’s internationally recognized government and let it do the job of stabilising the country.
The army is commanded by Khalif Haftar, an officially retired general who spent 20 years in exile in the United States and has been described as a potential ‘Libyan Sisi’ because of his fierce opposition to militant groups.
“If we provide arms and support to the national Libyan army it can do the job better than anyone else, better than any outside intervention which would risk dragging us into a situation that risks getting out of hand and triggering uncontrollable developments,” El-Sisi told Italy’s La Repubblica in an interview published Thursday.
El-Sisi said history had “spoken clearly” about the difficulty of trying to impose peace from outside.
“Two lessons must be kept in mind: That of Afghanistan and that of Somalia,” he said. “Those were long foreign interventions more than 30 years ago and what progress has been made since?”

“The results are there for everyone to see.”
Sissi also suggested that European governments were underestimating the scale of militant influence in Libya.
“Europeans look at Libya as if the Daesh group was the only threat,” he said.
“That is a serious mistake. We have to be aware that we are up against different acronyms with the same ideology: What do we say about Al-Qaeda networks like Ansar Al-Islam, like Somalia’s Al-Shabab or Boko Haram in Africa.”
Italy has said it is prepared to lead a UN-backed international peace force into Libya if and when the country proves capable of establishing a national unity government with the authority to ask for outside security help.
El-Sissi said such a mission would be fraught with difficulty and it would be better to concentrate on building up Haftar’s forces.
The army commander was involved in the 1969 military coup which brought Muammar Qaddafi to power in Libya. He later fell out with the dictator and was forced into exile, returning in 2011 to take part in the uprising that toppled Qaddafi.
He has long had close relations with the Egyptian military having served alongside their forces in the Sinai desert as a young Libyan officer during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

Updated 18 July 2019

Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

  • Some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security, Abdollahian says

BEIRUT: “Lebanon must be kept out of all regional crises,” said Iran’s Shoura Council assistant speaker for international affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during a surprise visit to Beirut on Wednesday.

“We say at the top of our voice that Iran and its allies will not allow the Zionist entity and the US to damage the region’s security.”

Following his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Abdollahian said that Tehran “is convinced that the security of Lebanon is the security of the region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Abdollahian added that “some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security.”

He described his talks with Berri as “good and constructive.”

“We will not allow Israel, US to interfere with regional security.”

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s Shoura Council official

Abdollahian said: “We have come today to reaffirm that Iran fully supports the people, army, resistance and government of Lebanon, and we look forward to developing relations between our two countries until they reach the highest levels.”

He said he believes that the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are for “domestic consumption,” accusing him of “making some moves in the region that are not in his favor.”

Netanyahu responded to a message from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday by threatening Hezbollah during Israel’s Cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu said: “Let me be clear that if Hezbollah dares to commit an act of stupidity and attack Israel, we will deal a crushing military blow on Lebanon. But unlike Nasrallah, I do not intend to detail our plans. It would be enough to recall that, for years, Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, and we demolished them within a few days.”