Libyan figures welcome El-Sisi support

Libya’s council of sheikhs and dignitaries declared that Egypt’s intervention in Libyan affairs was a legitimate intervention. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 June 2020

Libyan figures welcome El-Sisi support

  • “Our goals will be to protect the western borders, and support the restoration of security and stability in Libya, as it is part of Egyptian national security,” El-Sisi said
  • His address was met with widespread Arab support

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has stressed Egypt’s readiness to support the citizens of Libya.
“In Egypt, we have great respect and appreciation and have not interfered in your affairs and are always prepared to provide support, to help with the stability of the country,” El-Sisi said on Saturday in a televised speech. “We are solely interested in Libyan security and stability. Sirte and Al-Jafra crossed a red line. We are ready to help and aid in the protection of Libya,” he added.
“Libya is a great country and its people are fighters. The line that the current forces have reached, whether from the eastern region or western region, are all Libyan citizens and we are talking to the Libyan people and not one party against another,” El-Sisi said. 
The Libyan city of Sirte is 1,000 kilometers (km) from the Egyptian border, and is halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi on the Libyan coast. It is located 450 km from the capital Tripoli and 600 km from Benghazi. It opens the way for controlling oil ports in Libya’s “Oil Crescent” in eastern Libya, which includes the largest oil reserves in the country.

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Sirte is the main operations room for the Libyan National Army (LNA) and a link between the regions of eastern and western Libya. The city’s airport and seaport is one of the most important gateways in Libya.
Al-Jafra also has major significance because it is located in the center of the country which is 650 km southeast of Tripoli. It is the link between the east, west and south. Controlling Al-Jafra’s base means controlling the entire center of the country.
“Our goals will be to protect the western borders, and support the restoration of security and stability in Libya, as it is part of Egyptian national security,” El-Sisi added.
His address was met with widespread Arab support. Saudi Arabia stressed that Egypt’s security was an integral part of the security of the Kingdom and the entire Arab nation, noting that Riyadh stood alongside Cairo in its right to defend its borders and people from extremism.
The UAE also supported the statements made by the Egyptian president and reiterated its position calling for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and a commitment to a political solution, stressing that it was the only acceptable way to end the conflict.
In a statement, the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation affirmed its solidarity and support for Egypt to protect its security and stability.
The head of the Diwan of the Supreme Council of Sheikhs and Dignitaries of Libya, Muhammad Al-Misbahi, said that the Libyan people were calling for the joint Arab defense agreement to be enacted, praising the words of El-Sisi.
He pointed out that the Libyan people felt “that Arab dignity has begun to recover from Egypt’s June 30 revolution,” calling for an urgent move by the Egyptian government to resolve the conflict.
He pointed to the military intervention of Turkey in Libya as a key strategic issue, and warned that it could attract mercenaries and escalate the situation in the country if Turkey was permitted to continue its operations.
The council of sheikhs and dignitaries declared that Egypt’s intervention in Libyan affairs was a legitimate intervention according to the Joint Arab Defense Treaty. “Egyptian-Libyan history has proven the significance of joining forces in standing together against the foreign enemy throughout history, either in the Libyan jihad against the Italians, or the strong support Libya provided to Egypt in the 1973 October War,” it said in a statement.
“President El-Sisi raised morale and sent a strong message that Egypt is present,” Khaled Al-Mahjoub, director of the Department of Moral Guidance in the Libyan Army, said. 
“The situation with Turkey is about looting of wealth and the deployment of mercenaries, which is what constitutes a threat to the region. Today Turkey has a clear-cut message from El-Sisi,” Al-Mahjoub added.
“The Egyptian state is capable of facing any threats to national security regarding the Libyan crisis,” assistant secretary of the Future Party of the Egyptian Homeland, Essam Hilal, said.
He pointed out that Libya “is living a critical stage in its history in light of (Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan’s ambitions about Libyan oil, his possession of many terrorist militias in Libya, and his attempt to impose a fait accompli policy on Egypt.”
Hours after the Egyptian president’s speech, Erdogan made a phone call to Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad. The Qatar News Agency stated that the call discussed strategic relations between the two countries and ways to support and develop them, in addition to discussing a number of regional and international issues of common concern.
The mobilization of LNA forces continues in Sirte, and the eastern city of Misrata. The Government of National Accord, led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, rejected the Egyptian invitation to hold an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the latest developments.


Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn ‘helping everyone who stood by him’

Updated 43 min 31 sec ago

Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn ‘helping everyone who stood by him’

  • Ghosn made a dramatic escape from house arrest in Japan, where he was awaiting trial, and fled to Beirut, his childhood home
  • Ghosn has refused to discuss details of his escape from Japan, saying it would put in danger those who helped him

BEIRUT: Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn is helping everyone who stood by him, he said in an interview broadcast on Saturday, though he declined to comment on cases of people accused of helping him flee to Lebanon from Japan.
Ghosn, the ex-chairman of an automaking alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. was arrested in Japan in late 2018 on charges of underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purpose — charges he denies.
In late December, he made a dramatic escape from house arrest in Japan, where he was awaiting trial, and fled to Beirut, his childhood home.
Japan has asked the United States to extradite US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor, who are accused of helping Ghosn flee and were arrested in May.
Asked in an interview with Al Arabiya TV if he was trying to help the Taylors and others involved in his escape, Ghosn said: “You are talking about specific people, and I will not comment on those people who you are singling out.
“What I’m saying is that I am helping everyone who helped me; I’m helping them with my means, with my thinking, and in any way I can,” he said. “I am not talking about those people you mentioned specifically,” he said, adding that he was talking about people who helped him “in general.”
Ghosn has refused to discuss details of his escape from Japan, saying it would put in danger those who helped him.
A US judge said on Friday that Michael and Peter Taylor posed too great of a flight risk to be released on bail given the “spectacular” allegations against them.
Ghosn told Al Arabiya he made “the entire plan” for his escape but he had needed information and assistance from people whom he was not ready to endanger by talking about the matter.
Earlier this month, an executive from a Turkish private jet operator, four pilots and two flight attendants appeared in court on charges of helping to smuggle Ghosn via Istanbul.
Ghosn also said Japan had yet to send his case file to Lebanon as requested by the Lebanese government. “It has been six months and they haven’t sent the file. Why haven’t they sent the file?“