Egypt's parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal (Photo: Al Ahram)
Egypt’s Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said on Monday that Egypt will not stand idly by as any foreign country may pose a threat to its western borders with Libya.
“Egypt will not be idle about the reckless agreement signed between Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of the Libyan government in Tripoli, and Turkey,” said Abdel-Aal, adding that “Egypt will strongly stand against these reckless practices. The madness of some people might push him to pose a threat to Egypt, and I want to inform everyone that Egypt has all the means to strongly stand up to such irresponsible and mad figures,” said Abdel-Aal.
Abdel-Aal said Egypt is strongly in solidarity with the Libyan national parliament led by Aqila Saleh. “We also firmly support the Libyan army that is currently leading a ferocious battle against terrorism in Libya,” said Abdel-Aal.
“Egypt utterly rejects Al-Sarraj’s agreement with Turkey. To all the mad people who might think they can harm Egypt’s western air, land or sea borders, you will never be allowed to do so, and you will be vanquished.”
Abdel-Aal’s words came in response to an “urgent statement” delivered by independent MP Mostafa Bakri who said in a plenary session on Monday morning that the deal between the Tripoli government in Libya, led by Al-Sarraj, and Turkey is in violation of the Sokhairat agreement which does not allow Al-Sarraj to sign treaties with foreign parties.
Bakri said Greece has decided to expel the Libyan ambassador, thereby unrecognising Al-Sarraj’s government. “We should follow suit," he added.
Hani El-Hennawi, an independent MP, described Al-Sarraj as a traitor who decided to sell off his country’s interests and wealth to Turkey. “The agreement is a threat to Arab national security and allows Turkey to occupy Libya and plunder its oil resources,” he said.
El-Hennawi said that much like Iran, Turkey’s intervention in the affairs of Arab countries such as Libya, Syria and Iraq poses a grave threat to Arab national security. “Turkey gives logistical and military support to terrorist groups, particularly to the ruling militias in Tripoli, and I think that all Arab countries and the Arab League should move quickly to stand up to Turkey’s bullying practices in the Arab world,” said El-Hennawi.
Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prime minister of Libya's internationally recognised government Fayez Al-Serraj signed two MoUs on security and maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean.
Egypt condemns the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoU) by the Turkish and Libyan prime ministers on maritime borders and security, saying they have no legal effect, and cannot be officially recognised in light of the Skhirat Agreement's Article 8, which stipulates that the Libyan government or the cabinet, not the prime minister, have the authority to sign international agreements.
"The two memoranda of understanding have no legal effect, they cannot be officially recognised in light of the Skhirat Agreement's Article 8, which stipulates that the [Libyan] government or the cabinet, not the prime minister, have the authority to sign international agreements," the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
"It is well known that the current Libyan cabinet lacks ministers and representation of different Libyan regions, and thus the role of the prime minister is limited, and so making agreements with other countries is considered a blatant violation of the Skhirat agreement," the Egyptian foreign ministry commented.
"These two agreements do not have any effect or impact on the rights of the countries on the Mediterranean or maritime borders in the Mediterranean region," the ministry added.