The Egyptian presence in Libya has raised questions about the relationship between the Egyptians with the parties to the conflict there. A spokesman for the Libyan army, Col. Mohammad Hejazi, told Al-Hayat that the Egyptians in Libya are not part of the battle with terrorism there, and pointed out that the reports from armed brigades about the cooperation of Egyptian labor in Libya with the army against those battalions is an attempt to tarnish Egypt's reputation as a state and involve it in the conflict in Libya.
Hejazi further told Al-Hayat: “The opposite is true, as the armed brigades in Libya are working with extremist groups in Egypt in order to carry out operations against the Egyptian army and against the Libyan national army.” He pointed out that the “Egyptian forces have recently thwarted inside Egyptian territory several operations that extremists in Libya were involved in.”
Ramzi al-Romaih, the former adviser to the Cyrenaica government, said that the Egyptians are specifically distributed between Tripoli, which is controlled by the terrorist Islamic battalions, and Benghazi, which is controlled by troops loyal to Maj. Gen. Khalifa Hifter. He pointed out to Al-Hayat that the operations recently carried out against Egyptian Christians in Libya were sponsored by regional and international intelligence to place pressure on the Egyptian government and embarrass it to make it seem unable to protect its citizens.
Apart from the statements made by officials in the two countries, the sit-in of dozens of Egyptians during the last few days in front of the Libyan Embassy in Cairo to demand visas to Libya, while showing indifference to the enormous dangers of the trip, has clearly shown the dilemma facing the new government in Egypt. There are no quick solutions to the problem [faced by] Egyptian workers in Libya, that’s for sure. Their presence has become a source of danger to their lives, while their return raises an economic obstacle.
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