Parliament in Egypt has voted to authorise the deployment of its military abroad to defend national security and – in its words – fight criminals and foreign terrorists “on a western front”.

It’s an apparent reference to neighbouring Libya, where Egypt has been supporting the renegade general Khalifa Haftar who has been forced back from positions around the capital, Tripoli.

The resolution came despite a phone call between the Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and President Trump, who’s reported to have asked that nothing be done to escalate the situation in Libya.

Last week the pro-Haftar parliament in eastern Libya moved towards inviting the intervention of Egyptian troops, which have not fought abroad in nearly thirty years.

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