France supports Egypt’s initiative, says Libyan stability vital for Europe’s security

French President Emmanuel Macron. (File photo: AFP)

The stability of Libya and the fight against terrorism in it are essential for Europe’s security, France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

The French ministry added that it supported Egypt’s initiative regarding Libya and was coordinating with it to relaunch the political process.

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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that Turkey was "playing a dangerous game" in Libya, and that Paris will not tolerate Ankara's military intervention in Libya.

Read more: Actors in Libya must bring both sides of conflict to negotiating table: EU official

"I have already had the opportunity to say very clearly to President (Tayyip) Erdogan, I consider that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya today and going against all of its commitments made at the Berlin conference," Macron said according to Reuters.

"We won't tolerate the role that Turkey is playing in Libya," he added.

Turkey has intervened decisively in recent weeks in Libya, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria to back the Government of National Accord (GNA) against the Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar.

When asked about whether the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had a right to intervene in Libya, Macron said the Egyptian leader had reason to be worried.

"You noted the legitimate concern of President Sisi when he sees troops arriving at his border," Macron said.

"This is a Mediterranean subject that affects us becausetoday from Libya each day men and women are fleeing misery to come to Europe. Do you think we can let Turkey for a long time import Syrian fighters to Libya given everything we know?"

On Saturday, Sisi said that his country has a legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered the army to be prepared to carry out missions if necessary.

He said: “Any direct intervention from the Egyptian state has now acquired international legitimacy,” adding that Egypt had received “direct threats” from “terrorist militias and mercenaries” supported by foreign countries.

Earlier in June, Egypt had called for a ceasefire in Libya, Sisi added that Egypt has always been reluctant to intervene in Libya but “the situation now is different.”

On Sunday, the GNA rejected the Egyptian President’s warning of military intervention as “unacceptable” and described it as a “declaration of war.”

"This is a hostile act, direct interference and amounts to a declaration of war," the GNA said in a statement.

The Egyptian official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the GNA’s statement reflected its willingness to waste yet another chance to end the Libyan crisis. It also showed how it is trying again to strengthen itself amongst Libyans by relying on the assistance of a foreign party.

- With Reuters

Read more:

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

Saudi Minister: Security of Egypt, Saudi Arabia ‘indivisible’ amid tensions in Libya

Libyan National Army: Will never give up Sirte to Turkey ‘no matter the sacrifice’

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Last Update: Tuesday, 23 June 2020 KSA 00:39 - GMT 21:39
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