Speaker of Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh Issa (Reuters)
Egypt received on Wednesday a delegation of Libyan tribes loyal to eastern forces to discuss developments in the war-torn country, a few days after the eastern-based Libyan parliament asked Egypt to directly intervene if needed in light of what it described as a Turkish “occupation.”
According to the state-run MENA news agency, Cairo received a delegation from several tribes from Benghazi for talks about the current crisis and how to overcome it.
It is unclear who the tribes are meeting during their visit to Egypt.
The visit comes a few days after Libya's Tobruk-based parliament asked Egypt to intervene militarily if needed to safeguard the national security of both countries.
Egypt, the UAE and Russia are backing military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east, while Turkey supports the Tripoli-based GNA.
The tensions come one month after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned that Cairo has a legitimate right to intervene in the war-torn 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.