Egypt threatens Libya intervention while European Union and Arab League calls for de-escalation

BRUSSELS / PARIS / CAIRO – High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy in the European Union Joseph Borrell called for the establishment of a cease-fire between the conflicting Libyan parties and for the resumption of the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission discussions. Borrell considered that this time the European Union faces a new Astana path between Russia and Turkey in Libya where the two share interests.

In turn, spokesman for the European Union Peter Stano called on the active regional parties in the Libyan crisis to reduce escalation and encourage negotiation efforts.

“Libya is not in need of further escalation,” he added, indicating that external interventions are fueling the conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he had the opportunity to say clearly to his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he believes that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya which contradicts the commitments made at the Berlin Conference.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi threatened earlier in the week to deploy forces to halt the progress of the Turkish-backed advance on Sirte and the main air base in the southern town of Jufra by the forces loyal to the Government of Accord (GNA) headed by Faiz al-Sarraj.

“Preparing to fight has become an inevitable and necessary matter due to the prevailing instability and turmoil in our region,” Sisi stated in a speech to military officials.

The GNA, now with significant Turkish backing, described Sisi’s threat as a declaration of war, refusing to stop its attack on the city of Sirte.

During an emergency session, the League of Arab States discussed the crisis in Libya amid disputes with the Saraj government.

“Libya is passing through a dangerous turn in the course of its conflict,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement.

“The military option will not achieve victory for any side … and the military action will not bring peace or establish stability on the Libyan soil,” Gheit said in the emergency online League meeting.

“The political solution is the only way to settle the Libyan crisis.”