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Is Egypt trying to control Libya through Haftar?

The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, discussed the Libyan crisis while meeting French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Derian, on the sidelines of the 12th session in Manama.

The two ministers, who are not counterparts, agreed on the necessity to support the Libyan army as a front against terrorism and to prevent weapons from reaching militias, according to the Egyptian Al-Youm7.

One of the questions that might raise is why the Egyptian Foreign Minister meets the French Defense Minister? Does it mean that Cairo is trying to use diplomacy to convince the French military to continue supporting the army of the House of Representatives (HoR) that led by General Khalifa Haftar?

Also, during the same meeting, both parties spoke about gathering Libyan factions to reach a consensus that shall keep the country together. It is evident here that France still remembers the scandal that revealed about their forces cooperation with Haftar’s forces months ago. So, the French might be trying to convince the Egyptian side that it is better not to think of supporting the army or lifting the imposed arms embargo.

It is important to mention here that Haftar visited Moscow a week ago to persuade the Russians to support his forces militarily, but it is obvious that the Russians haven’t promised Haftar any support for now. Subsequently, the Egyptian regime is trying to mobilize international front to lift the arms embargo to help Haftar forces expand.

Al-Deyar website talked about suffocating crisis felt in Egypt, referring that Cairo needs $50 Billion annually, it can invade Libya in two days with half million soldiers, 4000 tanks, and 200 planes. Thus, Egypt, according to the website, can rule Libya and give it in return $150 Billion from oil revenues, and take the needed $50 Billion. The website also said that Egypt is discussing the idea with France, Spain, Germany, and Italy. Egypt mobilizes 200 thousand troops along the borders with Libya.

Al-Deyar added that “there is only a little resistance in Libya in the face of the Egyptian army. France and Europe supported the idea, unlike Washington and Israel. So, what might happen next? Only the US elect President, Donald Trump, has the answer”.

The website also said that the Egyptian army is managing security all over Libya, for the $50 Billion. Despite Moscow’s assent, Washington is standing against Europe’s expansion to Egypt and Libya.

It is worth mentioning that Haftar is still refusing the political dialogue, subsequently the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA) emanating from it.

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