Egypt Builds Naval Base on Libyan Border

Egypt Builds Naval Base on Libyan Border

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated a naval base on Saturday (3/7), on the Libyan border. The naval base was built 135 kilometers from the border with Libya.

UMMATIMES - Egypt said the base would help protect strategic and economic interests. In addition, the base is to increase its naval presence in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

At the inauguration of the naval base, two Mistral helicopter carriers procured from France were on display alongside the German-built submarine as well as two Italian FREMM-class frigates recently delivered. Naval troops carried out exercises that included rocket firing, parachute jumps and amphibious landings as Sisi and his guests watched from the bridge of one of the Mistrals.

The naval base was named Pangkalan 3 July. This name marks the day Sisi led the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013. The army base has an area of ​​more than 10 sq km, and has a pier of 1,000 meters with a water depth of 14 meters. The base also has a dock for commercial shipping.

The eastern border has been a key security issue for Egypt as Libya plunged into turmoil after 2011. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates backed eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar in the civil conflict that developed in Libya after 2014. But Cairo has increasingly provided its support, on the back of political efforts led by the United Nations to reunite the country.

Egypt is also experiencing tension with Turkey over maritime rights in the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean. However, this year Cairo and Ankara have taken careful steps to improve relations.