Egypt denies involvement in Tripoli airstrikes

The denial came one day after a New York Times report said Egypt and UAE carried out military strikes on pro-Islamist militias in Libya.

Egypt denies involvement in Tripoli airstrikes

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday reiterated denials of Egyptian military involvement in Libya while affirming Egypt's support for Libya's elected parliament.

"Egypt doesn't have a military presence [in Libya] nor is it involved in any military action on Libyan territory," Shoukry asserted.

Shoukry made the comments at a joint press conference in Cairo with Libyan counterpart Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, Libyan Army Chief-of-Staff Abdel-Razeq al-Nazouri, and newly-elected Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Salah Issa.

Shoukry's statements come less than 24 hours after the New York Times quoted senior U.S. officials as saying that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) "have recently launched joint air strikes on Islamist-allied militias trying to take control of Tripoli."

Abdel-Aziz, for his part, dismissed the report as "rumors," while Nazouri asserted that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi had offered training assistance for Libyan troops.

On Sunday, Egypt's Foreign Ministry denied any link to a series of airstrikes – of seemingly unknown origin – that rocked militant camps in Libyan capital Tripoli last week.

The announcement came one day after Ahmed Hedeya, a spokesman for the "Libya Shield" militia, had accused Egypt and the UAE of being behind the airstrikes.

The Libyan parliament has designated the pro-Islamist "Libya Shield" militia, which currently controls Tripoli airport, as a "terrorist" group.

Libya Shield has recently been engaged in fighting with rival militias in Tripoli over control of the capital's strategic facilities.

Libya in general has recently witnessed heavy fighting between a loosely organized national army and local militias that held onto their weapons following a bloody uprising in 2011 that ended the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya's new parliament recently assumed legislative authority from the General National Congress, the mandate of which expired earlier this year.,

Libya parliament speaker in Cairo to meet Sisi

Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Salah Issa arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for an official visit during which he will meet with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

"Issa arrived on board a private jet and was accompanied by several Libyan officials," sources at Cairo International Airport told Anadolu Agency.

Libya's top lawmaker announced Monday that he would be visiting Cairo Tuesday for a meeting with al-Sisi.

The Egyptian president had phoned Issa on Sunday and invited him to visit Egypt in the near future.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ağustos 2014, 09:54