Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have backed Egypt’s right to defend its national security in neighbouring Libya.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday said his country has a legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered his army to be prepared to carry out any mission outside the country if needed.
The Saudi foreign ministry said the Gulf kingdom “stands by Egypt in its right to defend its borders and people against extremism, terrorist militias and their supporters in the region.”
“The security of the Arab Republic of Egypt is an integral part of the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the entire Arab region,” the ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.
"The Kingdom supports President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s statement that Egypt has the right to protect its western borders from terrorism,” the statement, carried by Saudi state news agency SPA, added.
It urged the international community to respond to calls by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to “reach a comprehensive solution that ensures the safety and security of Libyan territories" and "put an end to the illegitimate foreign interventions that fuel terrorism in the region.”
The Egyptian president stressed that any intervention by Egypt would mainly be aimed at to protecting Egypt’s western border, achieving a ceasefire, and restoring stability and peace in the country.
He also warned forces loyal to the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli not to cross the current frontline with Libyan National Army (LNA) forces of rival military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east, which Egypt supports.
The UAE has also expressed support for “all measures Egypt is taking to protect its security and stability from the repercussions of the developments in Libya.”
It said El-Sisi’s keenness to restore security and stability in Linba “stems from an authentic Arab approach regarding the matter an integral part of Egypt’s security and stability and Arab national security,” the Emirati foreign ministry said.
Bahrain also threw its weight behind Egypt’s announcement, saying Cairo has the right defend its national security against developments in Libya
The Bahraini foreign ministry said it support’s Egypt’s determination to protect its western borders from the threats of terrorists and militias, and to “swiftly support the restoration of security and stability” in Libya.
The three gulf countries have backed Egypt’s new Egyptian peace initiative for Libya as a move towards a ceasefire and political solution. The initiative, announced earlier this month, proposes an elected leadership council for the country.
The plan had been welcomed by Russia and the United States.