Egypt would be prepared to send military forces to a future Palestinian state to help stabilise it, said Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“We are ready to send military forces into a Palestinian state. We would help the local police and reassure the Israelis through our role as guarantor. Not forever, of course. For the time necessary to restore confidence. But first a Palestinian state must exist where troops can be sent to,” he said.
Al-Sisi added that he had spoken of the idea with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Speaking of neighbouring Libya, Al-Sisi described the country as having descended into “chaos” and said “extremely dangerous jihadist bases” were being established there.
“The international community must make a very clear and joint choice in favour of the Libyan national army and no one else,” Al-Sisi said. “Aid, equipment, training must be sent to it exclusively.”
Al-Sisi had earlier strongly denied the presence of Egyptian military jets or any other air and ground forces in Libya, stating Egypt protects its borders “from within”.
Speaking to France 24, he had said that Libya needs more than military intervention and asserted that NATO’s work in the country was not completed after the regime was toppled, because state institutions were not rebuilt.
Al-Sisi begins his first European trip on Monday since his election. He is due to visit France and Italy, while the trip will also include a meeting with Pope Francis.