CAIRO: Egypt is only interested in restoring stability in Libya, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said Wednesday, days after raising the prospect of a military intervention.
Earlier this week, El-Sisi said his country had a legitimate right to intervene in neighboring Libya to protect Egypt’s western border. He ordered the military to be ready to carry out any mission outside the country and said such an operation would have international legitimacy.
Speaking during a cabinet meeting Wednesday, where he met with military and civilian officials, El-Sisi stressed the importance of restoring stability in Libya and its institutions to achieve security in the region, and "to protect the Egyptian national security from the western border," he said.
Earlier this week, El-Sisi raised concerns of a military operation when he said his country had a legitimate right to intervene in neighboring Libya. He ordered the military to be ready to carry out any mission outside the country. He said any direct Egyptian intervention would have international legitimacy and would be to protect Egypt’s western border.
El-Sisi said in the meeting that a cease-fire should remain in place and he called for dismantling Libya’s militias, and excluding mercenaries from the conflict in order to reach a comprehensive political solution.
Last month Egypt proposed an initiative for Libyan parties as a basis for resolving the country’s conflict.
The move was welcomed by Arab countries and on Tuesday, the Arab league urged Libyan factions to “positively engage” with such initiatives.
The war in Libya started after the downfall of dictator Muammar Qaddafi with the country splitting into two rival administrations.
Fighting has escalated after Turkey intervened on the side of the Tripoli-based government, reversing a 14-month assault on Tripoli by forces loyal to the military commander Khalifa Haftar.