Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took part in the opening ceremony of a new military (naval and air force) base in the country's north-west on July 3, 2021. By presidential decree, the facility was named "The 3rd of July" to coincide with the overthrow anniversary of Mohamed Morsi, the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (an international terrorist group banned in Russia), in 2013.
The ceremony was also attended by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and president of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi. Invitations to the ceremony were sent to Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
The military base is located outside the settlement of Gargoub next to the border with Libya and allows the deployment of large surface warships and submarines. It is combined with an airfield useable by nearly all the types of military aircraft in service with the national air force. Two major training centers have been built in the facility's territory for military specialists and servicemen with the airborne troops.
The new base is designed to strengthen security of the border with Libya, with its total length amounting to 1,145 km. At that, the naval forces are meant to provide seaward assistance to the Egyptian army, while the aviation group will carry out reconnaissance of both states' frontier in peacetime.
It should be noted that the "3rd of July" base is the Egyptian Armed Forces' second major military facility at the western border. June 2017 witnessed the construction and commissioning of the Mohammad Najeeb military base, whose forces and means have become insufficient amid the region's new military and political situation. The current military infrastructure provides for a swift response to the sudden westbound challenges, as well as blocking the northern border part between Egypt and Libya, and supporting potential actions by Egypt's land and airborne troops outside its territory.
It must be recognized that the military and political leadership of Egypt is deeply uneasy about the state and prospects of what is happening in Libya, with its ongoing power contest between armed opposing groups. Turkey's intervention in the conflict, its demonstrative intention to maintain military presence and outright torpedoing of demands to withdraw the foreign armed formations from Libya force the Egyptians to take measures of prevention for the sake of national security.
The very name of the new military facility next to the Libyan border is a kind of warning to Ankara about the targeted orientation of its forces and means, the unacceptability of Muslim Brotherhood's existence in Egypt and its neighborhoods, as their ideology and philosophies are very close to those of Turkey's ruling elite.
Ankara has been making all-out efforts to restore political relations with Egypt, that were interrupted after the overthrow of Morsi. The Turks are constantly negotiating this issue and, despite overtures, promises and even some particular measures, the Egyptians are skeptic about Ankara's messaging. Cairo consistently and adamantly insists on an unconditional and speedy curtailment of Turkish military presence in Libya, non-interference in its domestic affairs and the denunciation of agreements with the previous government of Fayez al-Sarraj.
The establishment of a new base at the Libyan border shall be deemed a demonstration of Egypt's potential strength in achieving these goals.