Libya tensions: US Africa Command chief meets Turkey-backed GNA officials

GNA forces. (File photo: Reuters)

The chief of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has arrived in the Libyan city of Zuwara to meet with senior Government of National Accord (GNA) officials, reported Libyan media on Monday.

The meeting comes amid heightened tensions in Libya, with the GNA and its Turkish backers threatening to advance on the strategic city of Sirte.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) opposes the GNA and has vowed to defend Sirte against any attack. Egypt has also said that it will protect its national interests and oppose Turkey's expansion of its presence in its neighboring country.

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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on June 6, 2020 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C), Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar (R) and the Libyan Parliament speaker Aguila Saleh arriving for a joint press conference in the capital Cairo.  (AFP)

A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on June 6, 2020 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C), Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar (R) and the Libyan Parliament speaker Aguila Saleh arriving for a joint press conference in the capital Cairo. (AFP)

The GNA has said that Egypt's comments about defending its interests were a "declaration of war," a statement that was rejected by Egypt.

“The Egyptian army is one of the strongest armies in the region, but it is a rational army ... that protects and does not threaten... and is able to defend Egypt’s national security inside and outside the borders of the homeland,” said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday.

Egypt supports the LNA led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey has sent thousands of Syrian mercenaries to the country to fight for the rival GNA.

The US Africa Command, is one of the eleven unified combatant commands of the United States Department of Defense, headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany.

Read more:

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

Libya’s GNA calls al-Sisi’s remarks on defending Egypt a ‘declaration of war’

Egyptian army able to defend the country's security: President al-Sisi

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Last Update: Monday, 22 June 2020 KSA 15:10 - GMT 12:10
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