Libya on Thursday condemned the president of Egypt for recent comments suggesting Cairo could arm Libyan tribes against the internationally recognized government.

Speaking to Al Jazeera TV, Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Al-Qablawi criticized a recent statement by Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as “blatant interference in Libyan internal affairs.”

“Al-Sisi’s talk is a repeat of his previous statements, which is a blatant interference in Libyan affairs,” he said, adding that Sisi’s speech was “not aimed at peace as he said, but it is he who is fueling the [Libyan] conflict.”

Al-Sisi met on Thursday with the heads of Libyan tribes in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where he threatened that Egypt “will not stand aside” in the face increasing military mobilization near the city of Sirte in the north of Libya.

The Libyan High Council of State condemned al-Sisi’s call to arm the Libyan tribes, saying it would lead to more fighting and division in the country.

In June, al-Sisi suggested that Cairo could launch “external military missions” into Libya, saying “any direct intervention in Libya has already become legitimate internationally.”

Al-Sisi said the city of Sirte and the al-Jufra airbase were their “red line,” calling on his army to “be prepared to carry out any domestic or cross-border missions.

Since April 2019, Haftar’s illegitimate forces have launched attacks on the Libyan capital of Tripoli and other parts of northwestern Libya, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths, including civilian women and children.

However, the Libyan government has recently achieved significant victories, pushing Haftar’s forces out of Tripoli and the strategic city of Tarhuna.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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