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Libya unity govt says Egypt threat 'declaration of war'.

Libya Unity Govt. says Egypt Threat ‘Declaration of War’

BENGHAZI – Libya’s government of National Accord (GNA), recognized by the UN, denounced Egypt’s warning of military intervention in Libya on Sunday, calling it a “declaration of war”.
“This is a hostile act, direct interference and amounts to a declaration of war,” the GNA said in a statement.
On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that if pro-GNA forces advanced on the strategic city of Sirte, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of Tripoli, it could provoke “direct” intervention by Cairo.
For the Libyan state, “interference in its internal affairs, attacks on its sovereignty, either by statements … such as those of the Egyptian president or by support for coup plotters, militias and mercenaries, is unacceptable,” said the GNA.
He said he was open to “any impartial mediation … under the auspices of the UN,” but rejected “unilateral or extrajudicial initiatives.”
Forces loyal to the GNA were reported to have expelled the Libyan National Army (LNA) from the strongman Khalifa Haftar for large tracts of territory in the war-torn west of the country and also strategic cities near Tripoli.
Currently, the GNA forces have launched a campaign, moving east, to capture Sirte from the LNA.
GNA’s advance now halts outside the coastal city of Sirte, a strategic access point to Libya’s key oil fields that remains under Haftar’s control.
Sirte and Al-Jufra to the south represent a “red line,” Sisi said in a television broadcast on Saturday, citing the need to protect Egypt’s porous border.
If this line is crossed, Egyptian forces will intervene directly in Libya, Sisi said.
“All of Libya is a red line,” replied the GNA.
“Whatever the dispute between the Libyans, we will not allow our people to be insulted or threatened.”
But eastern Libya-based parliament president Aguila Saleh defended Sisi’s statement and said in a statement on Sunday that the Egyptian president was “responding to our appeal to the Egyptian parliament” last January in which Saleh called for Egyptian intervention in Libya.
And on Sunday, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying Amman supports Cairo’s decision after discussing the Libyan conflict with its Egyptian counterpart over the phone.
Oil-rich Libya has been devastated by violence, attracting tribal militias, jihadists, and mercenaries since the overthrow and assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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