Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman has criticised Libya's internationally recognised government, based in Tripoli, after it issued a statement on Monday denouncing Egypt's stance on Libya.
"Who is the Libyan Presidential Council which issued a statement today addressing Egypt?" wrote Ahmed Hafez in a tweet on Tuesday. "What we know is that this council consist of nine members; where are they now?"
Libya has been split between rival governments fighting for power, with the UN-backed government based in the capital Tripoli in the west, and the other, which is allied with Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar, in the east.
Hafez’s tweet came after the presidential council of the western government criticised remarks made by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi earlier in the day, which it considered a threat to Libyan sovereignty.
"When we talk about Libya and Sudan, we are interfering [to serve] the interests of states and peoples, which is at the heart of Egyptian national security," El-Sisi was quoted by state news agency MENA as saying in a conversation with foreign journalists on the sidelines of a youth forum in Sharm El-Sheikh.
"We will not allow anyone to believe that they can control Libya and Sudan," El-Sisi said, adding that "interference in Libya by foreign countries has delayed a solution [there] for years."
El-Sisi's remarks came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country is ready to send troops to Libya if requested by the country's Government of National Accord (GNA).
The Libyan Presidential Council issued a statement later on the day, expressing bewilderment at El-Sisi's statements in which, it says, he described "the absence of the free will of the government and it falling hostage to armed and terrorist militias, and hinting of his ability to directly intervene in Libya."
"The Government of National Accord understands the right of the Egyptian state to achieve its national security, but it does not accept any threat to Libyan sovereignty," the council said in the statement.
"We hope that our sister Egypt will have a fundamental role in supporting stability and civil peace in Libya, instead of supporting armed formations outside internationally recognised legitimacy, led by a war criminal who attacked the capital Tripoli," the statement reads, in reference to Haftar, who is leading the eastern forces trying to seize Tripoli.