A senior Libyan official on Friday Egypt’s president over recent threats to intervene militarily and arm tribes in the country.

Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said on Twitter that his country would not accept steps “to undermine [Libyan] sovereignty or bypass the legitimate government.”

Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met on Thursday with the heads of Libyan tribes in his country’s capital Cairo, warning that Egypt would “not stand aside” in the face increasing military mobilization near the city of Sirte in the north of Libya.

“The leadership in brotherly Egypt must realize that its interest is with the legitimate government in Libya,” Bashagha added.

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

Al-Sisi had said the capture of the city of Sirte and the al-Jufra airbase by the internationally recognized government would be Cairo’s “red line.” He called on Egypt’s army to “be prepared to carry out any domestic or cross-border missions.

The region is currently held by renegade general Khalifa Haftar.

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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