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No plan for military intervention in Libya: Egypt FM

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry says his country is not mulling military action in Libya, where fighting between rival militias has intensified in recent weeks

Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Aug 2014
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry addresses a joint news conference regarding the situation in Gaza, in Cairo, July 24, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt has no intention of intervening militarily in Libya and is merely keen to safeguard its borders, the country's foreign minister has said.

Egyptian authorities have grown increasingly wary about a violent spillover from Libya where militia rivalries have worsened over the past three weeks in the worst violence since the 2011 toppling of Muammar Gaddafi.

"There is no talk of a military intervention. The army's role is to protect the Egyptian borders," Sameh Shoukry told reporters on Monday in Tunisia where he flew to check the state of thousands of Egyptians stranded at the border with Libya after fleeing the growing chaos.

More than 200 people have been killed in the recent fighting in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

The violence has prompted Western nations to pull their diplomats out, closed off most international flights, and sent hundreds of Libyan families and foreign workers fleeing abroad.

Egypt has airlifted at least 2,500 nationals stranded at the Ras Jedir border crossing between Tunisia and Libya to flee the latest bout of violence as most Libyan airports are shut due to the deteriorating security situation.

Last week, two people were shot dead when Libyan border guards opened fire to disperse hundreds of Egyptians attempting to cross into Tunisia to flee the unrest.

Egyptian officials have repeatedly expressed serious concerns over the flow of weapons and militants infiltrating the 1,115km Libyan-Egyptian border.

 

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