Thursday, 5 July 2012

Libyan relations with Egypt soured by another weapons haul

More heavy weapons – apparently en route from Libya to Gaza - have been seized by the Egyptian security forces. Following on from discoveries including 50 missiles, 7 machine guns and large quantities of ammunition at Marsa Matruh in early May and 100 rockets and 25 anti-tank grenade launchers later that same month, this latest haul has been described as the biggest yet. The Egyptians do not take kindly to this flood of weapons from Libya which cause grave security concerns and, unsurprisingly, the Israelis who fear they are the end target for the ammunition continue to protest.

Meanwhile, a congratulatory message from National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, on behalf of the Libyan government and people to Egypt's newly elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, will do little to smooth ruffled relations here. It will, however, be very interesting to see if the Muslim Brotherhood's electoral success in both Egypt and Tunisia is replicated in this week's Libyan elections. While the party is probably the best organised and funded the electoral law only allocates 80 seats to party lists and 120 to individual candidates so, even if it does very well, the Brotherhood is unlikely to win a large majority in Libya.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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