An agreement for military cooperation has been signed between Egypt and Libya. The agreement will see the two countries cooperating in areas of training, sharing experience, fighting illegal immigration, illegal fishing operations and the fight against drug trafficking.
The agreement between the two countries came during a visit by an Egyptian delegation to Libya, headed by the Chief of Staff of Egypt’s Armed Forces Sedki Sobhi. A statement published on the State Information Service on Wednesday website confirmed that the agreement was signed on the same day.
Sobhi and the rest of the Egyptian delegation, which was made up of representatives from the navy, army and air force travelled to Libya for the talks on Tuesday. The delegation also met with Libyan Defence Minister Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Bargati on Tuesday before the signing of the agreement.
According to a statement published by the Libyan Ministry of Defence, Al-Bargati said that the Egyptian delegation’s visit “is the beginning of cooperation between the two countries to protect the region and achieve the revolution’s objectives of stability and development.”
According to the State Information Service Sobhi said, “Egypt will not withhold expertise or weapons from the Libyan Armed forces”. He stressed the need for cooperation in order to secure the Egyptian-Libyan border.
The Egyptian side of the border is already a highly militarised zone, however the border is known for drugs and weapons trafficking and for illegal immigration in to Libya. On Tuesday the United Nations issued a report stating that Egypt receives a large amount of illicit weapons from Libya. In November 2012 an ammunition shipment worth EGP 20 million was seized in Suez and authorities thought it to have been smuggled in from Libya.
In December the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pleaded with Egyptians to not travel to Libya illegally after 61 Egyptians were detained without visas and some without passports.