Al-Sisi: NATO mission in Libya was ‘unfinished’


President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi said that NATO’s 2011 operation, which played a critical role in toppling Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya was an “unfinished mission”.

Al-Sisi’s statement came during an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio aired on Tuesday.

“The Libyan people are held as prisoners by extremist militias,” the Egyptian president added, stressing the necessity of an international coalition to combat terrorism in Libya.

“There was no other choice. We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children,” he said commenting on the air strikes launched by the Egyptian air force against the Islamic State’s hideouts in the Libyan city of Derna.

On Monday, Egypt’s Ministry of Defence reported that its war planes targeted the Islamic State terrorist organisation’s hideouts in Libya, shortly after President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi vowed revenge for the mass killing of 21 Egyptian hostages at the hands of Islamic State militants on Sunday night.

The air strikes marked the first direct intervention for Egypt in the conflict in neighbouring Libya, after the Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of the Egyptian Christian workers.

Ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Libya, Egypt’s Foreign Minister met on Tuesday with ambassadors from the council’s five veto-wielding powers – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that Egypt is keen on having close ties with all world countries, saying that developments over the past four years have been read in different ways as far as Egypt’s foreign relations are concerned.

During the interview, Al-Sisi affirmed that extremism does not accept halfway solutions, adding that these ideologies should be revised within the context of  Islamic religious discourse.

“Indeed, the government is keen on giving all Egyptians the room they need regardless of their ideologies so long as they do not attempt to impose those ideologies by force, which is the case with the MB,” Al-Sisi replied to a question about the Egyptian state’s relations with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

Asked about the international economic summit, scheduled in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in March, Al-Sisi ensured that he has invited all world leaders and businessmen willing to invest in the country to attend the event.