On Saturday, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attended the “Qader 2021” military drill as the “3rd of July” Naval Base in the country’s northwestern Gargoub area was inaugurated.
The Egyptian President was accompanied by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the head of Libya’s Presidency Council Mohamed al-Menfi, and other senior Egyptian officials including the Egyptian Minister of Defense and Military Production, Mohamed Zaki.
Earlier in the day, El-Sisi inaugurated the new naval base which has been built on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. According to an official statement by Egypt’s presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady, the base will be in charge of securing Egypt’s “northern and western strategic borders.”
The spokesperson’s statement also reads: “The naval base will also safeguard Egypt’s economic capabilities, secure shipping routes, and maintain maritime security by using combat groups from land military units, submarines, and air forces.”
The commander of the Egyptian Navy Lieutenant-General Ahmed Khaled said, during the opening ceremony, that the base is part of the overall development strategy of the Egyptian Armed Forces. The commander further stressed that the base is “a message of peace and development for the entire region.”
Prior to the naval base, Egypt has been constructing numerous military bases as part of its intent to increase its control over its borders and protect its strategic interests, according to official statements. The Mohamed Naguib base and the Bernice military/naval base on the Red Sea, near Egypt’s border with Sudan, were opened in July 2017 and January 2020, respectively, within this framework.
The new naval base is to be part of Egypt’s Northern Fleet guarding the country’s Mediterranean coast.