Libyan tribes loyal to eastern forces call on Sisi to defend Libya, preserve sovereignty

Ahram Online , Saturday 20 Jun 2020

Libyan tribes

Tribes in Libya loyal to eastern forces have called upon Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday to defend Libya and preserve its sovereignty and resources, a tribal representative said on Saturday.

Mansour Basisi, a representative of the Libyan tribes, asked El-Sisi to “strongly defend Libya and safeguard its sovereignty and resources.”

His call came after El-Sisi said that any direct Egyptian intervention in Libya would have international legitimacy at this point.

The president made the statement in a televised speech while inspecting Egypt's Western Military Zone accompanied by the heads and elders of Libyan tribes, Egyptian Minister of Defence and General Commander of the Armed Forces Mohamed Zaki, Chief-of-Staff Mohamed Farid, as well as leaders of the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

El-Sisi explained that any intervention in Libya by Egyptian forces "would be led by the Libyan tribes," and stressed that "we only aspire for stability in Libya."

“Egyptian security and Libyan security are one and the same due to the blood ties between the two countries and their deep societal relations,” Basisi said.

He also affirmed the tribes’ unlimited support of the Libyan leadership represented in the parliament led by speaker Aguila Saleh and commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar.

Basisi stressed the tribes’ rejection of any foreign interference in Libya’s domestic affairs and any designs on its resources.

“We have examples from the past and lessons from the reality and tragedies of foreign occupation, which has only resulted in ignorance that left us more than 300 years behind other nations,” he said.

Basisi stressed the tribes’ appreciation for Egypt’s “unlimited support” and for standing behind the Libyan parliament and its armed forces in its war against terrorism and extremism.

He lauded Egypt’s support in preserving Libyan stability and security amid “territorial ambitions” by some states both regionally and internationally.

“Libya is a sovereign state. No country is allowed to tamper with its lands or its sovereignty, borders and resources,” he said, calling on the Arab League, the UN, the EU, the African Union and international human rights groups and NGOs to stand by the Libyan people against the “aggressors.”

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