Egypt to stay out of Libya conflict: Western official

24th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Egypt will not take part in the conflict in Libya, where the United States, Britain and France are leading efforts to enforce a no-fly zone to protect civilians, a Western official in Cairo said.

"I think the Egyptians have been very clear they do not intend to involve themselves in the conflict in Libya," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Their primary concern is the safety of Egyptian citizens," the official said, adding that there was no sign that Cairo was trying to arm the opposition forces.

Last week the foreign ministry said Egypt would not take any part in the Libya operation for humanitarian reasons.

Egypt has been ruled by a military council since nationwide riots forced the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

A reported 1.5 million Egyptians lived in Libya before protests erupted on February 15 and turned into a war pitting Moamer Kadhafi's regime against rebels trying to overthrow him.

Since then, tens of thousands of Egyptians have fled the violence in Libya.

© 2011 AFP

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