Analyst thinks if Turkey and Russia maintains its presence high in Libya, partition is unavoidable | Eurasia Diary -

5 August, Thursday

Analyst thinks if Turkey and Russia maintains its presence high in Libya, partition is unavoidable

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After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya became the battleground to the internal groups backing by foreign states. The clash of interests of different states prolongs the conflict resolution and makes the situation difficult to understand.

Ludovico Carlino, principal research analyst over the Middle East & North Africa at IHS Country Risk shared his view with Eurasia Diary.

The analyst accepts the conflicts have effectively become a proxy war with the involvement of several foreign players. He explains the parties to the conflict as Turkey and to a less extent Qatar on one side and UAE, Egypt and to a less extent Russia on the other side

“The conflict maintains its local roots and local actors, but the external dimension has become more apparent since early this year when Turkey and UAE started to openly supply weapons to their local allies in Libya,” Carlino stated.

The importance of the Libyan crisis is measured with its significance for the regional players.

“The crisis is important because instability in Libya means instability across North Africa. It is also important for Europe because Libya remains the gate to Europe for thousands of migrants.”

While evaluating the importance for external players involved, Ludovico Carlino considers that key economic interests, as well as ideological reasons namely the proximity to Islamist elements within the Government of National Accord, attract Turkey to be active in the conflict.

“On the other side, UAE and Egypt are trying to sponsor the Libya National Army due to its opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and because they’re interested in installing a friendly government in Libya sharing their aversion to Political Islam.”

 The external players are a key to the conflict resolution in Libya and their stance will affect the future of the country. The analyst thinks that conflict will last several more months, as no party has the capability to win over the other. At the same time, Carlino doesn’t exclude the possibility of partition.

“Libya partition remains, however, a concrete possibility along historical lines, especially if Turkey and Russia will demonstrate their willingness to maintain their presence there.”

He also clarifies the US involvement. The analyst considers that the US position towards the Libya dossier has been very confusing since the beginning, but currently, it looks like the US are interested in countering the Russian presence in North Africa rather than supporting Turkey.

Recently, the interests of Putin and Macron seem very close to the Libyan conflict.

“Putin and Macron are not directly supporting Haftar. Both France and Russia are attempting to safeguard their economic interests in Libya, which lies in eastern Libya, where Haftar is the main actor,” the analyst says.

Ludovico Carlino views this step as opportunistic.

By Ulvi Ahmedli

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