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Egypt condemns Turkey's political and military interference in Arab affairs

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Jul 2020
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry (File photo: Ahram)
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Egypt has stressed its rejection of Turkey’s political and military “interferences” in Arab affairs, describing them as “lacking any legitimate basis,” one day after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan denounced Egypt’s actions in war-torn Libya.

In a statement on Saturday, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez affirmed Cairo’s rejection of Turkish interventions in Iraq, Syria and Libya, saying they violate UN Security Council resolutions.

“The Arab nations do not want any attempts or ambitions from those who seek to rule to achieve [their own] interests and goals,” Hafez said.

The spokesman expressed “surprise” over statements from Turkish officials regarding the legitimacy of elected Libyan bodies calling for Egyptian support in combating terrorism and extremism exported from Syria to Libya.

Hafez also expressed surprise over Turkey “risking the destiny of its nation by intervening in Arab countries’ crises to complicate and deepen them and to empower certain currents.”

His statements come one day after Erdogan denounced Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on Friday for supporting eastern-based forces led by military commander Khalifa Haftar, describing the steps by Egypt as “illegal.”

Egypt, the UAE and Russia are backing military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east, while Turkey supports the Tripoli-based GNA.

The Turkish denunciation comes after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told representatives from Libyan tribes on Thursday that Cairo will not stand idle in the face of actions that pose a direct and strong threat to Egypt and Libya, as well as to Arab, regional and international security.

El-Sisi told Libyan tribes in Cairo that he would request parliament's approval in case of intervention in Libya.

The representatives from Libyan tribes arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in conflict-torn Libya.

The tensions come one month after El-Sisi had warned that Cairo has a legitimate right to intervene in the neighbouring country to restore security and stability after GNA-affiliated forces pushed back Haftar’s forces in the capital.

El-Sisi said that any intervention in Libya by Egyptian forces “would be led by the Libyan tribes,” stressing that the Libyan frontline of Sirte and Al-Jufra is “a red line” for Egyptian national security.

The Egyptian president’s statements came weeks after El-Sisi, Haftar, and the speaker of the Libyan parliament Aguila Saleh announced a peace initiative, dubbed the Cairo Declaration, to end the civil war in Libya through a ceasefire and an elected leadership council.

The Cairo plan was drafted after the collapse of an offensive launched by Haftar in April 2019 to capture the Libyan capital, further extending the rival GNA’s control over most of northwest Libya.

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