The Egyptian journalist Amr Adib sparked a wave of anger among Libyans after his recent statements in the episode of his program “Al-Hekaya”, which is aired on MBC, when he said that “Libya for Egypt is like Ukraine for Russia,” adding, “These days are opportunities for those who want to do anything, the world is not paying attention and no one is watching. If anyone wants to do anything, now is the time.”
Adib’s statements were considered by some as an explicit call for Egypt to invade Libya, and an attempt to legitimize Egypt’s military action inside Libya if its interest required it.
This prompted the Libyan Foreign Ministry to issue a statement describing those statements as “a disregard for Libyan sovereignty,” followed by the summoning by Foreign Minister Najla Al-Mangoush to the charge d’affaires of the Egyptian embassy in Libya, Tamer Mustafa, to protest against those comments that were made in the program.
Ambassador Mustafa said that the party that carried out this act does not represent the direction of the Egyptian government and its positions on Libya. On the other hand, the official spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Hafez, refused to comment on the statement of the Libyan Foreign Ministry, and stated that “the Egyptian and foreign media, newspapers and channels in Egypt enjoy complete freedom and express their point of view on various issues, and that the official position of the Egyptian state is expressed through statements issued by the Egyptian government.”
Libyan reactions by activists and observers described Adib’s statements as clear incitement against Libyan sovereignty, while others supported the Foreign Ministry’s reaction and described it as a correct step and the first official government response in years to the foreign media’s attacks on Libya.
At the same time, many called on the Egyptian government to respond more firmly to Adib and not to risk relations between the two countries for “impulsive and ill-considered statements.”