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Egypt’s President Sisi meets Libyan tribesmen after eastern parliament’s call to intervene

Egypt’s President Sisi meets Libyan tribesmen after eastern parliament’s call to intervene

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met mainly eastern Libyan tribesmen on Thursday. Earlier this week, the eastern-based parliament, allied to commander Khalifa Haftar, called on Egypt to help counter Turkish support for Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli. Ankara has helped Tripoli force Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) to abandon its offensive on the capital.

Cairo will not stand idle in the face of any moves that pose a direct threat to Egyptian and Libyan national security, Sisi said, according to a presidential statement. It added that tribal leaders meeting Sisi in Cairo had authorized the president and Egypt’s army to intervene in their country “to protect Libyan sovereignty,” Reuters reports.

Sisi said at the meeting that Cairo’s main goal in Libya was to “activate the free will of the Libyan people.” In June, the president said Egypt could act militarily either if the House of Representatives requested this, or simply based on the UN Charter’s right to self-defense.

Eastern tribes and other factions allied to Haftar have also been involved in closure of oil ports since January. The LNA says the tribes act on their own.