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Libya’s Supreme Tribal Council condemns Sisi's ‘declaration of war’

People protest against President of Egypt Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi following his intervention threat at Martyrs Square in Tripoli, Libya on 21 June 2020. [Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency]
People protest against President of Egypt Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi following his intervention threat at Martyrs Square in Tripoli, Libya on 21 June 2020. [Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency]

The Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities announced on Wednesday its “categorical rejection” of recent comments by Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s, considering it a “declaration of war on Libya,” Anadolu has reported.

Following an inspection tour of units of the Egyptian army near the border with Libya on Saturday, President Al-Sisi hinted at the possibility of launching a military operation in Egypt’s neighbour. His comments sparked widespread anger among Libyans, as well as international criticism.

“We have been following-up the internal and external conspiracies against Libya,” explained the Council, “as well as the greedy ambitions and blatant interference of countries which have fuelled the conflict and deepened the dispute, and assumed a fake guardianship on the Libyan people and land in order to serve their own interests without any regard to international laws and treaties.”

Libyans accuse European and Arab countries, including Egypt, of supporting the militia of rebel Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who contests the legitimacy of the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord in the oil-rich country. Cairo usually denies the accusation.

“Perhaps,” added the Council, “the statements made by the coup-leader Egyptian President, who clearly and crudely threatened to intervene in Libya militarily under the pretext of protecting Egyptian national security, provide the clearest evidence of this.”

Libya defence minister to Sisi: Nothing will stop our progress towards Sirte 

Following a string of military defeats for Haftar’s Libyan National Army, Al-Sisi insisted last Saturday that “the provinces of Sirte and Jufra are a red line for Egypt and the LNA. Any direct interference from Egypt [in Libya] has now acquired international legitimacy, either with the right to selfdefence or at the request of the only legitimate elected authority in Libya, which is the House of Representatives [in Tobruk, controlled by Haftar].”

The Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities warned that Libya will be a “graveyard” for the Egyptian leader’s delusions and ambitions. It called on the Egyptian army not to be a “tool for violating Libyan sovereignty,” and warned that “any hostile act or aggression would harm the close relations between the two brotherly peoples.”

Moreover, the Council also called on the international community to act. “The UN and the Security Council must shoulder their responsibilities and duties towards the threats and aggression targeting the Libyan state by the axis of evil and the countries supporting the coup that are inconsistent with international laws.”

It concluded by denouncing the statements of Aguila Saleh, the Speaker of the Tobruk Parliament in support of Al-Sisi’s position towards Libya.

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