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Egypt decides to open new naval base near Libya


According to information published by Al Monitor on March 30, 2021, Egypt prepares to open a naval base on the Mediterranean, near its border with Libya, as the populous country is trying to protect itself against unrest in the neighboring country, assert its control over its maritime boundaries and safeguard its economic interests.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Anwar El Sadat L1020 during Naval exercise (Picture source: Twitter account of Mohamed Mansour)


Egyptian contractors have been constructing the new 3rd of July naval base in Gargoub, a little-known port town on Egypt's northwestern Mediterranean coast, roughly 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Libyan border, for several years now.

The base, military analysts say, will be part of the Egyptian Northern Fleet that guards the country's Mediterranean coast.

The Egyptian military has not specified a date for the inauguration of the new base. However, during a recent visit to Amman, Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly handed King Abdullah II of Jordan an invitation from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to attend the opening of the base.

Libya has turned into a major concern for Egypt ever since regional rival Turkey stepped up interference in it in 2019, by sending military advisers and thousands of Syrian mercenaries, in light of security cooperation pacts Ankara signed with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which used to control the capital Tripoli and most of western Libya.

ENS Anwar El Sadat (L1020) is an Egyptian Navy amphibious assault ship, a type of helicopter carrier, of the French Mistral class. Her length overall (LOA) is 199 meters and her width is 32 meters.

Mistral-class ships can accommodate up to 450 soldiers, although this can be doubled for short-term deployments. The 2,650-square-metre (28,500 sq ft) vehicle hangar can carry a 40-strong Leclerc tank battalion, or a 13-strong Leclerc tank company and 46 other vehicles.