Egypt stays out of Libya war for security reasons

Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:41pm GMT
 

CAIRO, March 20 (Reuters) - Egypt decided against taking part in military action against neighbouring Libya for reasons linked to internal security and the fact that so many Egyptians live there, the foreign minister said on Sunday.

Nabil Elaraby said Egypt, whose uprising against Hosni Mubarak helped ignite the Libya revolt, had for humanitarian reasons supported an Arab League resolution calling on the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

"(Egypt) absolutely did not announce that we will take part in the international military alliance against it for reasons linked to our internal security and the large number of Egyptains present in Libya," Elaraby was quoted as saying by the state news agency.

Qatar, a Gulf Arab state, has said it will take part in the military action against Libya.

Egypt has been governed by the military since Mubarak was toppled on Feb. 11 by the mass uprising.

More than a million Egyptians were working in Libya when the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi erupted. Tens of thousands have fled.

Egypt and Libya share a frontier of some 1,000 km (600 miles) that stretches from the Mediterranean coast into the Sahara desert. The countries fought a short border war in 1977. (Writing by Tom Perry)

 
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