Baku Network: Turkey returns to Africa, Libya's future depends on Ankara and Moscow

Arab World Materials 16 June 2020 16:00 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 16


A similar scenario may be used to put an end to the civil war and instability in Libya, as the one used by Ankara and Moscow in Syria.

After the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, two warring camps oppose each other, namely, the Government of National Accord with Fayez Sarraj in Tripoli, recognized by the UN and the temporary Cabinet of Ministers with Abdullah Abdurrahman Al-Thani, acting in the east as the parliament, against the so-called Libyan National Army of General Khalifa Haftar.

At the initial stage of the civil war, General Haftar’s detachments managed to encircle the Libyan capital Tripoli, but the Government of National Accord funded by Qatar formally appealed to Turkey for military assistance and the situation has changed.

The Government of National Accord succeeded and regained control of a number of the country's most important facilities through the military assistance of the Turkish Armed Forces. The international observers stress that the Syrian pro-Turkish militants are fighting to support the Government of National Accord while “Russian mercenaries” or fighters of the Russian private military company Wagner Group are fighting to support General Haftar.

Obviously, there is a big struggle for oil in Libya. The country has 2.8 percent of the world's oil reserves, about 48.4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and ranks 10th in the world. The natural gas reserves reach 1.4 trillion cubic meters. Libyan crude is of very high quality with low sulfur content. The country's proximity to the European market also makes Libya a very attractive and important oil producer.

The Turkish military contingent inflicted a heavy defeat on Haftar's army, who himself is essentially a puppet in the hands of external players, in particular, Russia. The countries that support Haftar are now calling for the ceasefire. However, this military conflict is still far from over.

Several foreign countries are not interested in Ankara’s sole victory in the struggle for Libyan oil. So, Greece is trying to level Turkey’s success. The reason is Turkey’s attempt, together with Libya, to control the laying of pipelines from the Eastern Mediterranean.

Despite the military confrontation in Libya with pro-Russian Haftar, Ankara is not interested in sharp aggravation of relations with Moscow.

It seems that Ankara is inclined to go for a truce, but it has already started to create its al-Watiya air base in the western part of Libya, as well as the second naval base in Misrata.

The media outlets close to the Government of National Accord have recently disseminated information that Russia allegedly intends to create two bases in Libya - in Sirte and Jufra.

Obviously, despite the existing contradictions regarding the future of Libya, Ankara, as in case of Syria, is bowing to Moscow.

Turkey is blocking the implementation of a new defense plan in NATO for the Eastern European countries, in particular, for the Baltic states and Poland, which is declared as a key element of the alliance’s measures to “deter” Russia.

There is reason to believe that Turkey is in favor of political settlement of the problem together with Russia, as these countries have practical experience of successful settlement in Syria.

Not only the future of Libya, but also the whole geopolitical situation in the Mediterranean region depends on whether Turkey, with Russia's participation, succeeds in restoring the unity of Libya.

This topic was supposed to be the main focus of the planned negotiations, but at the last moment Moscow canceled the trip of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Turkey.

The statement was made that "the date of the meeting of the foreign ministers and defense ministers of the two countries will be coordinated further".

Meanwhile, Ankara is waiting for Moscow's decision, and has stopped the attack on the strategically important city of Libya, the homeland of Gaddafi - Sirte.

Head of the Expert Council of the Baku Network, PhD Elkhan Alasgarov - http://bakunetwork.com

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