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Egypt concerned over Turkey's alleged shipment of explosives to Libya

Xinhua,January 14, 2018 Adjust font size:

CAIRO, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Egypt expressed serious concerns over Turkey's alleged shipment of explosives to war-torn Libya via a ship that was recently intercepted by the Greek authorities, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Media reports said that Greece's coastguards seized on Wednesday a freighter carrying detonators and explosive materials from Turkey to the port of Misurata northwestern Libya.

"If the news is true, it represents flagrant violation of the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council (on Libya) in accordance with Resolution 2292," Egyptian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in the statement.

Egypt said that it assigned its diplomats to verify the information and ask the concerned committee at the Security Council to investigate it.

"Egypt's move comes within the framework of immediate confrontation of any violation of arms embargo, for it poses a serious threat to the efforts of the international community in Libya and the chances for stability and political settlement in the country," Abu Zeid added.

Seven years after a 2011 uprising that ended the reign and life of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is currently engaged in a civil war and run by two rival administrations, one in the capital Tripoli northwestern the country and the other in Tobruk city in the northeast.

Egypt said the shipment of such explosives to Libya undermines the Egyptian national security and the country's anti-terror war as well.

"The international community's efforts in fighting terrorism cannot be complete and fruitful unless all states adopt a strict position in uprooting the sources of financing, arming and sheltering terrorist elements," said the Egyptian statement.

The administration of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi accuses Turkey, besides Qatar, of supporting terrorism and interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs by hosting fleeing members of the currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly rejected the Sisi-led military removal of Morsi in July 2013 and the later massive security crackdown on his supporters.

Since Morsi's ouster, Egypt has been facing a wave of terrorism that killed hundreds of security men as well as civilians, with most of the attacks claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the regional Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Egypt is concerned about its 1,200 km western border with eastern Libya that has been a smuggling destination of arms and militants over the past few years. Enditem