Egypt opens Mediterranean naval base | Middle East News


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi MBZ during the opening ceremony.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has opened a strategic naval base on the Mediterranean Sea to “secure maritime lines,” the presidency said.

“This is the last Egyptian military base in the Mediterranean, and it will focus on securing the northern and western fronts of the country,” the Egyptian presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

The ceremony was attended by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), and the President of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi.

The base is some 255 kilometers (160 miles) west of Alexandria, towards the border with Libya, a country where Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have played a key military role.

The new Libyan transitional executive is the result of a UN process launched in November in Tunis, then voted in Geneva and confirmed by the Libyan parliament on March 10.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were the main supporters of Khalifa Haftar, the eastern-based Libyan military commander who tried to capture the capital Tripoli in the previous government.

Base will focus on securing northern and western fronts, Egyptian presidency said [AFP]

In April, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visited Libya, where he met with interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, a further sign of the warming of relations between Cairo and Tripoli.

Dbeibah visited Egypt in February on his first official trip abroad after his election.

In April, Dbeibah also visited Abu Dhabi, where he was warmly welcomed by Sheikh Mohammed, who expressed his support for the new Libyan administration.

El-Sisi and his guests witnessed military maneuvers involving several ships, attack helicopters and fighter jets.

State newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm reported that the new Egyptian base includes an airstrip and a jetty 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) long.

The base was named “July 3” after the day, eight years ago, that Sisi led the military impeachment of President Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt has three other naval bases in the Mediterranean and one in the Red Sea.


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