Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has warned against attempts “to control” neighboring Libya, state media reported Tuesday, as tensions grow over Turkey’s expanding ties with the Tripoli-based government.
Sisi’s remarks come after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed readiness to send troops to Libya if requested by the country’s Government of National Accord (GNA).
Erdogan, who supports the GNA, met with its head Fayez al-Sarraj in Istanbul on Sunday, after the two countries signed maritime and military deals last month.
Egypt’s foreign ministry has lambasted the agreements as “illegitimate”.
On Tuesday, state-run newspaper Al Ahram quoted al-Sisi as telling journalists the previous evening: “We will not allow anyone to control Libya ... it is a matter of Egyptian national security”.
Libya has been riven by turmoil and division since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
It has since been split between rival administrations vying for power in the east and the west.