Egypt FM Sameh Shoukry with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Cairo on Monday.
(Photo courtesy of the MFA)
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said that Cairo “will not accept any violations of the designated red lines” of Sirte and Al-Jufra in Libya, and that the country will defend its national security and interests.
The FM made the comments during a joint press conference with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Cairo on Monday.
Shoukry said that there is an Egyptian-Saudi consensus on combating foreign intervention in the region, especially in Libya.
He said there are directives from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to intensify bilateral cooperation between the two countries to achieve the aspirations and interests of both nations.
“The directives also include dealing with all issues in the Arab world, especially in restoring peace and stability. We are all responsible for the security and stability of the Arab region, and we don’t want to see our destinies squandered by the ambitions of non-Arab states,” he said.
The Saudi foreign minister said the Kingdom supports the Cairo Declaration on Libya and the necessity of safeguarding Libya from foreign interventions.
“We will remain one hand to achieve security and stability in the region,” he said, affirming that there is a full consensus between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on regional issues.
The meeting is part of intensive efforts between Egypt and its regional and international partners to discuss ongoing developments in Libya.
El-Sisi said earlier this month that Egypt will send troops into Libya if the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which is backed by Turkey and Syrian mercenaries, tried to seize Sirte, which is located around 900 kilometres from the Egyptian border.
The strategic city, a key gateway to Libya's vital oil fields and facilities, is held by rival forces of military commander Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which is supported by Egypt, the UAE and Russia.
Last week, the Egyptian parliament unanimously approved the deployment of armed forces abroad to defend Egypt’s national security.
Late last month, the Libyan parliament passed a motion authorising Egypt to intervene militarily if needed to safeguard the "national security" of both countries in light of what it termed a Turkish "occupation".
Last week, Libya's tribal leaders mandated President El-Sisi and Egypt's Armed Forces to intervene to protect the sovereignty of Libya and to take the necessary measures to secure the national security interests of both countries.