Egypt's president says the defeat of the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is likely to have forced militants to seek a safe haven in neighboring Libya, from which they will later cross into his country.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi also says Egypt's ongoing arms buildup is designed in part to equip the country to deal with terrorism and redress the "strategic imbalance" in the region created by conflict and turmoil engulfing several countries in the area.

He refused to be drawn into specifics about militants' movements, saying it was only "natural" for them to move to Libya, where militias wield influence over large swathes of territory, and eventually to Egypt.

"This is a threat not just faced by us, but also by Europe," he told reporters late Wednesday.