By Arab News
By Mohamed Al-Shamaa
Egypt’s parliament on Monday mandated President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to send troops to Libya.
A statement by the parliament stipulated “the approval of sending elements of the Egyptian Armed Forces on combat missions outside the borders of the Egyptian state, to defend Egyptian national security in the Arab strategic direction against the actions of armed criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements, until the end of the forces’ mission.”
The mandate comes a few days after El-Sisi met Libyan tribal leaders in Cairo, where they called on the Egyptian Armed Forces “to intervene to protect the national security of Libya and Egypt.”
El-Sisi also discussed the Libyan issue and developments in Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam with US President Donald Trump.
The Egyptian parliament had met in order to give El-Sisi a mandate to use military force to defend Egyptian national interests, specifically with regard to Ethiopia and Libya.
El-Sayed El-Sharif, deputy speaker of the parliament, said that Article 152 of the Egyptian constitution stipulated that the state could not declare war nor send forces on combat missions until after the approval of parliament.
“In these situations there is no majority or opposition. We are all one vote in support of our Egyptian state in confronting these dangers,” he said.
Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), with the support of Turkey, recently launched an offensive against the Libyan National Army in northwest Libya and vowed to advance to capture Sirte and the inland Al-Jufra airbase.
El-Sisi had stressed that the frontline of Sirte and Al-Jufra was “a red line” for Egyptian national security.
El-Sisi was also briefed on Sunday night on the developments in the Renaissance Dam and the three-way negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, and discussed developments in the situation in Libya during a meeting of the National Defense Council.
“The council discussed the overall political, security and military situations of the state in all strategic directions, in the context of developments of the various current challenges on the regional and international arenas,” a spokesman for the Egyptian presidency said.
“In light of Egypt’s endeavor to stabilize the current situation and not to cross previously declared lines, with the aim of bringing peace between all Libyan parties, the council stressed the strong ties that link the two countries.
“Egypt will not spare any effort to support Libya, and help its people take their country to safety and overcome the current crisis, based on the fact that the Libyan file is considered one of the highest priorities of Egyptian foreign policy, taking into account that Libyan security is an integral part of Egyptian and Arab national security,” the spokesman said.
The council’s members affirmed Egypt’s commitment to a political solution to the Libyan crisis in a manner that guaranteed preserving Libyan unity and the sovereignty of the country, restoring the pillars of national institutions and eliminating terrorism.
“(Egypt aims to) prevent the spread of criminal groups and extremist armed militias, as well as put an end to illegal foreign interventions that contribute to worsening security conditions and threatening neighboring countries and international peace and security. It also will ensure a fair and transparent distribution of Libyan wealth to its people and prevent the control of any extremist groups over this wealth,” the spokesman said.