The world should be questioning what states like the UAE, Russia, France are doing in Libya! - YASIN AKTAY

The world should be questioning what states like the UAE, Russia, France are doing in Libya!

28 May 2020, 12.50
Yasin Aktay

Yasin Aktay

Turkey’s agreement with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya completely changed the trajectory of a process that had been ongoing on the field for five years – just like everybody’s plans in the Mediterranean completely collapsed with the maritime boundary agreement it made in the Mediterranean, also with Libya. Turkey’s relatively late entrance into the game had led to the formation of an ego-centric and unlawful sharing partnership which had whetted the appetites of groups that had no right or business in the Mediterranean and Libya.

Turkey rendered their unlawful sharing partnership dysfunctional with both its deals. While the countries in the Mediterranean were sharing entire gas fields with bilateral, trilateral, and quadripartite agreements in the Mediterranean among themselves, Turkey was so limited that it was having difficulty casting a fishing rod in its own shores. Yet, Turkey’s unexpected entrance on the ground with the sudden deal it struck with Libya gave it leverage to have the final word in all of the Mediterranean. Now, everybody is scrambling, trying to turn the tide. Meanwhile, Turkey is saying that it has no interest in anybody’s rights and that if resources are going to be shared, it should be done fairly.

The situation on the battlefield in Libya is even more interesting. There are states that have swarmed in to put these lands up for sale. There was nothing anyone could do had the post-revolutionary process that the Libyan people started in order to form their own administration and institutions reached its desired end. There would also have been no path forward for powers who wanted to seize these lands. It’s for that exact reason that they had to disrupt that process under any pretext.

This path was paved by hiding behind putschist General Khalifa Haftar. The legitimacy Haftar needed has been compensated for with physical weapon forces. The violence displayed by such a power that gained his legitimacy from weapons and violence was frequently within the scope of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Despite this, it cannot be said that his initiative has been successful enough. He unnecessarily lengthened the process despite all the support he was given, and could not collapse the legitimate government. Just as he was about to make the final move, Turkey stepped in his path.

Turkey’s entrance into Libya upon the official request of the government and its agreement not only shifted all balances on the ground but it also brought to light the failure of Haftar and all the forces supporting him, proving that they neither had any legitimacy nor claim.

Do not pay attention to their questioning Turkey’s business in Libya. This question is nothing other than a product of their haste to avoid the question of what they are doing in Libya. Otherwise, Turkey is the only country right now that has no need to explain its presence in the country. Turkey is the only country there upon the invitation of the internationally-recognized legitimate Libyan Government of Accord, and within the scope of an agreement whose boundaries are clearly determined and declared.

For example, what business does the United Arab Emirates have in Libya, even though it shares no border with Libya or the Mediterranean and has no relation at all with any issue concerning Libya? What does it seek to do other than light the fire of discord and pit Muslims nations against one another like everywhere else? Yemen, with which it shares a border and has been in for six years has been leveled to the ground. You have no capacity to solve problems, why are you sticking your nose into everything? If this were not true, you would have solved the problem in Yemen. Forget solving them, all you do is create problems where there are none, destabilize countries, and cause disorder. As a matter of fact, the UAE was hiding its support for Haftar until Turkey and the GNA struck a deal. Once Turkey was in, it started to show its colors.

The same applies to Russia. Russia has no official and legal agreement to base its support to Haftar. Hence, Russia is not present in Libya as a state; it is continuing its operations through the private security company Wagner, which recently had to withdraw upon the serious damage caused by the counterattacks of the Turkey-backed GNA forces. Two days ago, Russia sent 15 military planes to the Bani Walid city airport to clear the mercenary soldiers affiliated with this company that pulled out of Tripoli. However, in exchange for this withdrawal, Russia transferred its warcraft via the new air bridge it formed from Syria to Libya, pushing Wagner out of the way and clearly determining its stance in the equation.

We are not even mentioning France and Egypt. All of these countries that have been supporting Haftar so far used to refrain from being seen next to him and appearing to officially support him. Yet, Turkey’s entrance on the ground revealed everyone’s hand.

That is exactly what happened, but what will happen next? While the sides are caught red-handed, will they feel a need to explain their presence in Libya? Or are they going to continue to ask in the same brazen manner what Turkey is doing there?

  • Libya
  • Turkey
  • Erdoğan
  • UAE