Libya: Islamist group forms to destabilize Egypt; more chaos with Libyan oil ports

Egypt seems to be becoming increasingly worried about the growth of Islamist movements in its neighboring Libya.

Recently, Egypt’s military leader and presidential candidate, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said that U.S. military aid was needed to help rid Libya of jihadi training camps near Egypt’s border. Sisi stated that unless the U.S. helps Cairo to contain civil chaos in Libya, it is likely to become “fertile ground for religious extremism.” He added that such an eventuality would have a “disastrous” outcome for the U.S.

Sisi further said that by refusing to deploy Western forces to help stabilize Libya after Western militaries overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011, the U.S. and other NATO members had created a political vacuum that had left Libya at the mercy of “extremists, assassins, and murderers.”

“History will judge you severely,” Sisi said.
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A general view taken on April 9, 2014 shows the oil terminal of Marsa al-Hariga after rebels in eastern Libya ceded control of the oil port

Rebels occupying major oil ports in eastern Libya said on Wednesday they would not deal with new Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, a stance that could threaten efforts to reopen the terminals in the OPEC producer.

Maiteeq’s predecessor Abdullah al-Thinni had reached an agreement with the rebels to reopen four of the ports, though only the smaller ones, Hariga and Zueitina, have been handed over to government forces.

Both sides had agreed to hold further talks over the larger Ras Lanuf and Es Sider exports terminals. But the rebels’ comments on Wednesday suggested those efforts could hit difficulties.

“We refuse to deal with Ahmed Maiteeq … Maiteeq came to power illegally,” rebel spokesman Ali Hasi said, without elaborating.
Maiteeq, a businessman, was sworn on Sunday in after a chaotic election in parliament. Many deputies have challenged his appointment.

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