Former US Ambassador to Libya, Deborah Jones, expressed her surprise at the statements of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Sirte after he warned that he considered the town a “red line” should the internationally-backed Libyan Government of National Accord aim to take control of it.
Speaking to a Libyan channel, Jones said it is interesting that Al-Sisi did not consider Sirte a red line when Daesh took control of the city in 2016, noting that the United States wants to avoid more bloodshed that might be caused through stirring unrest in Libya.
She conveyed that Al-Sisi’s threat is dangerous and may be a bit exaggerated, saying: “I do not know why Al-Sisi feels compelled to do this and I do not think that any Egyptian leader believes that it is in Egypt’s interest to get involved now, especially in this type of conflict or in a battlefield which is a thousand miles from Cairo.”
The former official asserted that the United States might have to do more to prevent an undesirable outcome of this turmoil such as the division of Libya or something else.
Libyans accuse European and Arab countries, including Egypt, of supporting the militia of rebel Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who contests the legitimacy of the GNA in the oil-rich country. Cairo usually denies the accusation.
The Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities warned that Libya will be a “graveyard” for the Egyptian leader’s delusions and ambitions. It called on the Egyptian army not to be a “tool for violating Libyan sovereignty,” and warned that “any hostile act or aggression would harm the close relations between the two brotherly peoples.”