Egyptian parliament approves troop deployment to Libya

Egypt’s parliament on Monday approved a bill to deploy troops to neighbouring Libya in support of the Libyan National Army (LNA), UAE-based the National newspaper reported.

A total of 510 lawmakers present in the 596-seat chamber voted unanimously in support of the resolution, which failed to explicitly mention Libya, but clearly indicated that the decision pertained to the war-torn North African country, it said. 

Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that his country had a legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered his army to be ready for any mission outside the country.

Sisi’s statement followed the reversal of a 14-month LNA assault to seize Tripoli by the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

Cairo has threatened to send troops into Libya if the GNA and Turkish forces try to seize Sirte, after GNA turned its attention to capturing the key town that is a gateway to Libya’s main oil terminals.

In November, Ankara and the GNA signed a maritime border agreement intended to legitimise Turkey’s claims to abundant offshore gas and oil reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, much to the ire of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and other nations in a conglomerate collaborating on a drilling project of their own off the Cypriot coast.

The last time the Egyptian military deployed troops abroad was to defend Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War.