Are Turkey and Egypt Trying to Share Libya?

Are Turkey and Egypt Trying to Share Libya?

Turkey militarily helps Sarraj to expel Haftar and Egypt is part of the negotiations for the future of Tripoli and beyond. All the latest news in Libya (and energy and geopolitical reflections) in the in-depth analysis by Giuseppe Gagliano

We start as usual from recent events relating to Libyan theater. The Gna, led by Al-Sarraj, was able to recapture the city of Bani Walid, which is geographically located south-east of Tripoli.

According to information from the Arab media, this reconquest was possible thanks to the fact that the GNA militias managed to enter the city without using military force as there was maximum cooperation from local authorities to avoid unnecessary massacres.

As for General Haftar's forces, they had already left the city before the arrival of the Gna.

This success adds to the reconquest of the city of Tarhuna located 95 km from the Libyan capital which was a key strategic hub by the LNA forces.

The short-term objective, from a strategic point of view, of the GNA forces can only be the reconquest of Sirte or more precisely of the port city of Sirte located right in the center of the gulf of the coastal city 450 km east of the capital Tripoli, strategic hub between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.

In light of these recent military developments, the fact that representatives of Tripoli and Tobruk governments agreed to resume talks under UN coordination on June 2, with the aim of reaching a truce in Libya, appears an initiative as unrealistic as the UN resolution of June 5 regarding the possibility of authorizing the inspection of vessels suspected of violating the arms embargo.

In this regard, even if about 20 European Union countries also supported by the European Union satellite center have joined the mission called Irini, concretely the monitoring proves to be purely illusory as evidenced by the fact that a ship from the port of Misrata has arrived from Istanbul with a load of M-60 tanks supplied by the Turkish army. Tanks that of course will become indispensable for conducting a ground offensive by the GNA in close coordination with both the Turkish military advisors and the Syrian mercenaries.

In fact, the recent conversation between Erdogan and Al-Serraj demonstrates the linearity and political-strategic coherence of Ankara which has not only the aim of having a leading role in the Libyan reconstruction, but above all intends to carry out exploration and drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean, the subject of a tough dispute with Cyprus and Greece from a legal and diplomatic point of view .

It is no coincidence that the GNA has given the green light to the Turkish Petroleum Company (Tpao) to carry out oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, an authorization which constitutes the direct consequence of the agreement on the determination of the reciprocal Zee signed last year between Tripoli and Ankara. .

Precisely for this purpose, not only has Turkey strengthened its projection of power from the point of view of the Navy but has also strengthened its military device in close collaboration with Qatar as indicated in a previous article.

We come now to Al-Sisi's recent statements. On June 6, in fact, the Egyptian president announced the Cairo plan – called the Cairo initiative – for a ceasefire in Libya, starting on June 8, after a tripartite meeting with the commander of the Libyan national army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar. Beyond the declarations of pacification expressed by Al-Sisi in relation to the need to arrive at a political solution, the Egyptian political will to regain control of the Libyan situation is evident in order to be an equitable division into areas of influence of Libya which protect their interests.

Well, the plan proposed jointly by Al-Sisi and Al-Serraj – a plan that includes, among other things, that all parties remove foreign mercenaries at a national level, the dismantling of militias, a fair representation of all three regions of Libya in the establishment of a presidential council elected by the Libyan people under the supervision of the United Nations, that each region should form an electoral college whose members should be chosen by the House of Representatives and the Libyan state together with the elderly and tribal notables, taking into account the representation of women and young people with UN supervision, coordination also necessary to monitor the integrity of the electoral process for the selection of candidates for the Presidential Council – a vague and at the same time unrealistic project appears which is a prelude to a permanent instability of the Libyan chessboard.

In any case, it should be in our country's interest – both to protect its oil interests and to contain immigration – to take part in the division into areas of influence. But, considering clearly the posture put in place by our country so far on the Libyan theater, it is very likely that Italy will be increasingly marginalized from Libya .


This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/turchia-ed-egitto-provano-a-spartirsi-la-libia-italia-assente/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=turchia-ed-egitto-provano-a-spartirsi-la-libia-italia-assente on Mon, 08 Jun 2020 14:10:16 +0000.