Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, on Nov. 22, 2015. Egyptians began voting Sunday in the second phase of the country's first parliamentary election since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in 2013. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
(Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

The Egyptian Parliament issued on Monday a mandate allowing the Egyptian president to send troops abroad to “protect national security.”

The parliament’s decision came a few days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi vowed that his country will not stand idle in the face of any direct threats to the security of Egypt and Libya.

Sisi has previously announced that Egypt will intervene militarily in Libya if the troops of the Government of National Accord (GNA) attacked Sirte and al-Jafra cities, which are currently under the control of eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

In a statement, the parliament said the mandate was issued in a closed-door session attended by 510 members, noting that all members voted in favor of the decision.

Under the mandate, Egypt’s armed forces can carry out combat missions outside the borders to defend Egypt’s national security “in the western strategic direction against the actions of armed criminal militias and foreign terrorist elements,” the statement said.

Libya has been engaged in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments with warring forces, namely the UN-backed GNA based in the capital Tripoli and the Tobruk-based government which is allied with LNA.

Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates support Haftar’s LNA, while the GNA is mainly backed by Turkey and Qatar. Enditem

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