On July 2, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened a new strategic naval base on the Mediterranean Sea to boost the country’s military capabilities.
In a statement, the Egyptian Presidency said that base was built in order to “secure the state’s economic assets, secure shipping lines and to maintain naval security”.
“It is the latest Egyptian military base on the Mediterranean, and it will be focused on securing the country’s northern and western front,” the statement reads.
The base was officially named the “3rd of July” after the July 3 Egyptian coup d’état in 2013 that saw the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi by a military-civilian coalition led by al-Sisi.
The base, which spreads over more than 10 square kilometers, is located some 255 kilometers west of Alexandria, towards the border with Libya where Egypt has been heavily involved both militarily and politically.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and the chairman of Libya’s Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi both attended the inauguration ceremony alongside President al-Sisi.
During the ceremony, two Mistral helicopter carriers acquired from France were on display with a number of Russian-made Ka-52K Katran attack helicopters onboard. A German-made type 209 submarine and two recently delivered FREMM-class Italian frigates were also showcased.
The base will further boost the operational capabilities of the Egyptian Navy, which have significantly increased over the last seven years.
Egypt is currently facing several challenges including Turkish entrenchment in Libya, the struggle on maritime border in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the threat of drought posed by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
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