Egypt plans a new naval base to protect against challenge posed by Turkey-Libya

Kabul: – The increasing instability in Libya is directly affecting the security of Egypt. Against this background, Egypt has started developing a new naval base recognising the threat to its interests in the Mediterranean Sea. It is claimed that this maritime base will safeguard the economic interests of Egypt. Whereas analysts claimed that this Egyptian naval base would pose a challenge to Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea.   

Egypt has started building the ‘3rd July’ naval base near the Gargoub port in Northern Egypt. This base will be used for the deployment of large warships. Photographs of the facility have been published in the local media. Only 250 kilometres from the Libyan border will be a part of the Northern Fleet of the Egyptian navy. The Egyptian defence forces did not inform the date of the completion of the project. But information has been received that Egyptian President Abdel Fateh Al-Sisi has invited King Abdullah II of Jordan for the inauguration.   

Former naval officials and analysts have welcomed the development of this new base. Admiral Mohammed Mitwali, the former official in the Egyptian navy, said that Libya is a country that is becoming a clear and open threat to Egyptian security. Against this background, to counter the challenges posed by Libya and the security of the Egyptian interests in the region, this naval base’s building becomes important. 

This will be the second Egyptian naval base connected to the Mediterranean Sea. Port Said, located north of the Suez Canal, is the oldest Egyptian port and naval base. Egypt had also developed some smaller bases other than this. But nearly a year ago, Egypt built one more naval base, ‘Barnis’ in the Red Sea region. This base was built to secure the marine movement in the Red Sea and Gulf of Bab Al-Mandreb. Whereas, it is being claimed that 3rd July at Gargaub will be the third major Egyptian naval base. General Nasr Salem, a former military official, claimed that this base would be most important for Egypt from a strategic perspective.   

The direct threat posed by Libya is the biggest Egyptian concern. In 2011, after the execution of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has always been unstable. Egypt has been criticising that this directly affects the security of the 1,250 kilometres long border between Libya and Egypt.   

Turkey entered the Libyan civil war in 2019. Moreover, it is being accused that it brought in terrorists and extremists from Syria. Egypt alleged that this Turkish interference has increased the threat to its security. Whereas Turkey is also posing challenges to Egyptian interests in the Mediterranean Sea region. Against this background, and given the challenges posed by Libya and Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt has decided to develop the region’s naval base. Egypt will have major strategic benefits from this port in the future.   

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