Libya: GNA calls Egypt’s military threat ‘declaration of war’

Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has denounced Egypt’s warning of military intervention in Libya, labelling it a “declaration of war”.

On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned that if pro-GNA forces advanced on the strategic city of Sirte – some 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of the capital Tripoli – it could provoke a “direct” intervention by Cairo.

He also ordered the Egyptian army to be ready to carry out missions inside or outside of the country to protect its national security amid tensions over Turkey’s intervention in Libya.

In response, the GNA said in a statement that Egypt’s move was “a hostile act and direct interference, and amounts to a declaration of war”.

The statement comes on the eve of a virtual meeting of Arab League foreign ministers on Libya, in which the GNA declined to participate.

For the Libyan state, “interference in its internal affairs, attacks on its sovereignty, whether by declarations … like those of the Egyptian president or by support for putschists, militias and mercenaries, is unacceptable”, the GNA said.

It said it was open to “all impartial mediation … under the aegis of the UN” but rejected “unilateral or extrajudicial initiatives”.

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