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Libya calls Egypt military threat ‘Declaration of war’

Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has condemned Egypt's warning of military intervention in Libya, terming it a "declaration of war".

“This is a hostile act, direct interference and amounts to a declaration of war,” the Tripoli-based GNA said in a statement on Sunday.

For the Libyan state, “interference in its internal affairs, attacks on its sovereignty, whether by declarations… like those of the Egyptian president or by support for putschists, militias and mercenaries, is unacceptable,” the GNA said.

The GNA called on the international community to “assume its responsibilities with regard to this escalation”.

The comments came in reaction to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who warned on Saturday that if pro-GNA forces advanced on the strategic city of Sirte – 450km (280 miles) east of Tripoli – it could provoke a “direct” intervention by Cairo.

During a tour of an airbase near Egypt’s 1,200km-long (746 miles) western border with Libya, Sisi ordered his army to be ready to carry out any mission inside or outside the country to protect its national security amid tensions over Turkey’s intervention in Libya.

In reaction to the Egyptian president’s threat, the Libyan army had described Sisi’s comments as “a clear declaration of war and a blatant interference” in Libyan affairs.

“[Abdel] al-Sisi’s statements that Sirte and Jufra are a red line, according to his description, is a blatant interference in our country’s affairs, and we consider it a clear declaration of a war on Libya,” Abdel-Hadi Darah, a military spokesman of Path of Victory operation, said in a statement.

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