On July 20, 2020, Egypt’s parliament approved the deployment of troops abroad, giving President Abdel Fattah al-SISI the greenlight to militarily intervene in Libya’s chaotic civil war.
The House of Representatives “unanimously approved to send elements of the Egyptian Armed Forces in combat missions outside the borders of the Egyptian state to defend the Egyptian national security in the western strategic direction,” read a parliament statement quoted by Ahram Online following the closed-door session.
The vote in Egypt’s parliament comes a week after Libyan lawmakers allied with HAFTAR’s forces called on Egyptian troops to intervene “if they see an imminent danger” to the national security of both countries.
During a meeting with Libyan tribesmen in Cairo last week, SISI said his country would “not stand idle” amid escalating tensions in the northern city of Sirte. The Egyptian president has referred to Sirte, as well as the airbase of Jufra, as a red line. “Egypt will spare no efforts to support the sister Libya … to overcome the current critical crisis,” the Egyptian presidency said in a statement after a meeting of the National Defense Council on Sunday that was chaired by SISI.
Also on July 20, SISI and US President Donald Trump agreed on the need to maintain a ceasefire in Libya and avoid an escalation between the forces fighting there, Egypt’s presidency said.
Sisi and Trump also discussed Ethiopia’s planned Blue Nile dam, the Egyptian presidency said. Cairo is worried that Ethiopia will start filling the dam without an agreement with Cairo and Sudan, which would also be affected.
Egypt, along with the United Arab Emirates and Russia, has backed commander Khalifa HAFTAR in Libya’s six-year-long civil war. Turkey, which supports the rival UN-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-SARRAJ in Tripoli, has condemned Egypt’s role in the conflict as “illegal.”
Turkey-backed Libyan forces appear ready to enter the oil-rich coastal city, which has been under the control of HAFTAR’S Libyan National Army since January. After a yearlong campaign offensive on the capital of Tripoli, HAFTAR’s forces were expelled by the Government of National Accord in early June.
SISI last month declared the Sirte and Jufra frontlines a red line for Egypt.
Libya´s east-based parliament, the sole elected body in the country, also urged SISI to send troops.
This article was edited using the data from the aljazeera.com, al-monitor.com, english.ahram.org.eg, and www.arabnews.com