In what could be a game changer in the years-long Libyan conflict, the Libyan parliament has tacitly called for intervention of the Egyptian armed forces against foreign, particularly Turkish, aggression and to help restore stability and security.
The Turkish armed intervention in Libya has exacerbated the conflict by training and arming extremist militias that control Tripoli and sending thousands of mercenaries to halt the efforts of the Libyan National Army’s recent campaign to restore order in the war-ravaged country. Turkey has reportedly set up few military bases in Libya.
Its de facto occupation of the Arab country also poses a threat to the Egyptian national security by planting armed groups along Egypt’s western borders.
Egypt will naturally weigh its options carefully, but whatever course of action Cairo decides on, that decision will sure be in the best interests of not only Egypt and Libya but also for the entire Arab world
The oilfields, the only sources of revenue for the Libyan people, have been shut down by the militia-dominated government of Fayez Al Sarraj, which now virtually functions as a Turkish puppet — effectively waging an economic war against the Libyan people. The global economic security is at stake too.
With all that in play, the Egyptian position has been very clear. The war in Libya must end. Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi last month proposed a road map to settle the conflict peacefully that calls for an immediate ceasefire, direct talks between the warring parties and the exit of foreign troops and militias.
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The Arab world, the European Union and the United Nations all voiced their support for the Egyptian initiative. Turkey was the only country to oppose as it clearly calls for its exit from Libya and aborts President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to have Libya as Turkish springboard to realise his dream of regional hegemony.
In unequivocal language, the Libyan parliament on Tuesday emphasised “the strategic depth that Egypt represents to Libya at all levels of security, economic and social, throughout history,” and “the dangers posed by the Turkish occupation [as} a direct threat to our country and neighbouring countries, especially Egypt.”
Therefore, the statement added, “the Egyptian armed forces may intervene to protect the Libyan and Egyptian national security, if they see an imminent threat to the security of the two countries.”
Egypt has called for an immediate ceasefire and political settlement in Libya. Nevertheless, the Libyan parliament, the legitimate representative of the people, has given thus the legal and the moral justification for any future Egyptian move to counter the Turkish occupation.
Egypt will naturally weigh its options carefully, but whatever course of action Cairo decides on, that decision will sure be in the best interests of not only Egypt and Libya but also for the entire Arab world.