Egypt will not stand hands tied facing Turkey’s ambitions in Syria, Iraq, Libya: FM

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Egypt will not stand by idly with hands tied in the face of Turkey’s ambitions in the region, especially in Libya, Syria and Iraq, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday.

The Minister said during the virtual ministerial meeting of the Arab League that the crisis in Libya has direct consequences for Egyptian national security.

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“We have seen and monitored… the Turkish interventions to destabilize Libya, which involves practices that prolong the conflict, not only in Libya, but in the entire region. This includes Turkey's documented involvement in transporting mercenaries and terrorists from Syrian territory, in an effort to recreate the conditions Turkey established in Syria on the Libyan front,” Shoukry said.

Turkey had sent thousands of Syrian fighters to Libya, according to the Syrian Observatory, a war monitor.

“In the face of Turkish ambitions that are evident in northern Iraq, Syria and Libya in particular, Egypt will not stand idly by with hands tied. Instead we have taken a stance, when we declared the Sirte-Jufra frontline a red line we will not accept anyone to cross regardless of their identity, and we thank the brotherly Arab countries for their strong support."

Libya has plunged into chaos since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

Clashes between the two main warring parties in the country, the LNA, commanded by Khalifa Haftar and the GNA, led by Fayez al-Serraj, have intensified recently.

Many foreign powers have backed different sides of the conflict with varying degrees of support, with the most prominent countries being Turkey backing the GNA and Egypt backing the LNA.

The possibility of further escalating the conflict in the North African country increased after Egypt’s parliament authorized the deployment of troops outside the country, allowing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to act on his threat of military action against Turkish-backed forces in Libya.

Turkish media outlets said Ankara put in place a plan to increase its forces and military equipment in Libya to confront Egyptian forces in case Cairo decides to intervene.

Read more:

Libya’s LNA: Turkey sending mercenaries of various nationalities, not only Syrians

Egypt’s army chief of staff checks combat readiness of forces near Libya border

Libya’s GNA should realize its size, who it’s talking to: Egypt official in report

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