AFRICA/EGYPT - Winds of war with Turkey, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate and Evangelical leaders alongside al Sisi

Tuesday, 23 June 2020


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Coptic Orthodox Church has always been at the side of the Egyptian nation in all the difficult passages of its history, and now supports the national political and military authorities by supporting "all the measures" they have arranged to "protect our borders and national security", while praising the "never contradicted" Egyptian will to want to follow the "diplomatic paths" to protect their legitimate rights. The position of support expressed in these hours by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate towards Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi appears clear and without possible misunderstandings. While the alarm is raised for a possible direct military clash between Egypt and Turkey on the theater of the Libyan conflict, devastated by the civil war between the troops of the government of Tripoli and the militias headed by General Haftar and the "Parliament of Tobruk".
In recent weeks, the government of Tripoli led by Fayez al Sarraj and recognized as legitimate by the international community, with the help of Turkey, has been conquering positions at the expense of General Haftar, supported by Egypt. Faced with this scenario, al Sisi said he was ready to deploy Egyptian troops in Cyrenaica to protect the Sirte area from Turkish influence on Saturday 20 June. Addressing the soldiers of the Sidi Barrani military base, about 100 km from the border with Libya, the Egyptian President said that his Country's troops must prepare "to conduct any mission, within our borders or, if necessary, on the outside". Al Sisi, in his speech, also argued that any Egyptian military intervention in Libyan territory - destined according to many analysts to undermine the stability of the entire Mediterranean area - would be "legitimate and in line with the resolutions of the UN Security Council". With the press release issued yesterday by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, unreservedly aligns itself alongside the line exposed by President al Sisi, praising the evidence of "sacrifice and heroism" also recently provided by the Egyptian armed Forces.
Similar statements of support for Egyptian political leadership were expressed by the Egyptian evangelical community, led by Reverend Andrea Zaki, at the head of the Coptic Evangelical Organization. "Let us pray to God" reads the statement "so that he protects the Egyptian nation from all evils, and the historic rights of the Egyptian people are defended by those who threaten the sovereignty and foundations of the Egyptian State". Solidarity and full support to the Egyptian government and armed forces were also expressed by the House of the Egyptian Family, an interreligious liaison body set up a few years ago to prevent and mitigate sectarian opposition. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 23/6/2020)