Egypt army chief in Tripoli for talks on military cooperation

Ahmed Eleiba, Wednesday 10 Apr 2013

Egyptian army chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Sedki Sobhi, arrives in Tripoli for talks on boosting military cooperation between the North African neighbours

Sedki Sobhi
Egyptian army chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Sedki Sobhi (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian army's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Sedki Sobhi, has arrived in Tripoli for talks with his Libyan counterpart, Youssef Al-Manqoush.

"This will not be the last visit," Sobhi said at a joint press conference with Al-Manqoush on Wednesday afternoon. "There will be cooperation regarding weapons and technical support for ground, naval and aerial divisions."

"Egyptian-Libyan cooperation will include many other elements, including securing borders and coastlines, which will begin in the near future," he added.

The Egyptian military has taken part in training operations to help rebuild the Libyan army after the uprising that brought down the Gaddafi regime.

Sobhi said that for the first time there would be decentralised communication between the Egyptian and Libyan armies. Middle ranking officers will be able to contact each other directly without having to request permission from more senior officers, he said.

A knowledgeable security source told Ahram Online that Sobhi would discuss ways to combat illegal weapons trafficking between the countries.

In late February, Egyptian police confiscated two pick-up trucks carrying 60 anti-tank missiles smuggled across the border from Libya.

Another purpose of the visit, according to the source, is to prepare for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's visit to Libya, which will be his first since taking office in June 2012.

The date of Morsi's visit has not yet been announced.

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