Egyptian Activity in Libya, New Maritime Agreement with Greece

Libya has become strategic hinterlands for Egypt, ready to monitor rapid changes in Libya. Egyptian armed forces support the Libyan National Army in its battles against the GNA forces, which take place in Tripoli and some other areas, while GNA forces are supported by Turkey, despite international condemnation.

Confronting Turkish Activity

Last November, Turkey concluded a maritime and security agreement with GNA in Libya, which was internationally criticized, especially from Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. After signing that agreement, tensions between EU and Turkey escalated regarding the engagement in Libya and the country’s oil exploration plans in the Mediterranean. The escalation has worsened when France intervened, demanding to put an end to Turkish violations.

To confront the Turkish activity in Libya, a few days ago Egypt and Greece signed a joint agreement that allows the two countries to benefit from the wealth of the Mediterranean. In this context, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the relation between Egypt and Greece is based on mutual interests. In a press conference with his Greek counterpart, Shoukry explained that the agreement reflects the sincerity of the political leadership in both countries, aiming at strengthening political and economic relations.

The agreement actually entered into force when the Egyptian parliament ratified the maritime border delineation agreement with Greece on August 19, a day after the Constitutional and Legislative Committee in the parliament approved the agreement that cuts the way against Turkish interventions in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee stated that according to the explanatory memorandum, the agreement is a partial delineation of the maritime boundaries between both countries, and that delineation will be completed at the right time through consultations between the two parties following point “A” and point “E”, in accordance with international law.

Field Activities

The GNA prime minister held a meeting with Turkish and Qatari officials, during which they discussed the developments in Libya and the military mobilization east of Sirte and Al-Jufrah, which is considered by Cairo a red line that must not be crossed.

A Turkish-Qatari agreement was signed with the GNA to turn the port of Misrata into a naval base for Turkey’s army, allowing Ankara to deploy large naval power in the region as part of its plans to reinforce its military and commercial presence in North Africa and the Mediterranean, where several countries fight for the rights of extracting oil and gas.

The new trilateral agreement provides the establishment of a military coordination center based in the city of Misrata. Doha will finance training centers of GNA fighters. Al-Sarraj also concluded a security and maritime cooperation agreement with Turkey, which provoked sharp criticism, especially from Greece and Cyprus, but the GNA agreement with Qatar is the first of its kind, likely to provoke additional veto from Cairo and other Arab countries, especially those boycotting Doha.

Envoys and Messages

The General Command of the Libyan National Army broadcasted footage of the meeting between Marshal Khalifa Haftar and Major General Khaled Megawer, director of the Egyptian Military Intelligence Department.

The timing of Megawer’s visit to Libya has great indications, especially after the Sarraj government agreement to turn the port of Misrata into a Turkish military base funded by Qatar. That agreement should be called “Tripartite Conspiracy.” Said by the spokesman for the Libyan National Army, Major General Ahmed Al-Mesmari, he underlines, what reasons can be found behind the Qatari-Turkish terrorist warfare machine: first is transferring the battle from the eastern Mediterranean to Libya, to reduce pressure on Turkey, and the second, more importantly, that Tripoli witnesses tensions and problems between several militias.

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