Turkish expert - Egypt’s call for a truce about seeking to salvage remains of Haftar’s project | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

9 July, Thursday


Turkish expert - Egypt’s call for a truce about seeking to salvage remains of Haftar’s project

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The President of Egypt, Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi ordered his army to be prepared for possible military operation in Libya. President said in his speech that his country has international right at the military level to intervene in Libya.  Al-Sisi also noted that Sirte and Jufra cities of eastern Libya are red lines, and the taking control of them by the GNA armed forces will not be  acceptable for him.

EDNews.net portal conducted an interview with Turkish expert, Ferhat Polat about the probability of Egypt's military intervention in Libya, and its possible confrontation with Turkey in this country.

Ferhat Polat, the expert on Libya at the TRT World Research Centre

TRT World Research Centre - Ferhat Polat

- Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi threatened to use military intervention in Libya, in the event of attempts to attack Sirte and Jufra air bases by Turkish backed internationally recognized government-GNA, while he made speech in the city at the border of Egypt with Libya. Al-Sisi said that Sirte and Jufra are red lines for him, and his country has international right to intervene in Libya. From your opinion, how will Turkey react to Al-Sisi in case of Egyptian army’s intervention in Libya?

- The on-going conflict in Libya could be a direct threat to Egypt’s national security and stability.  A serious security challenge is the 1,150-km Egyptian-Libyan border. Therefore, Cairo’s security concern seems to be understandable. While providing significant support for Libyan warlord Haftar who undermines political stability in the country, appears to be not such a right policy. Besides, the relationship between Egypt and Haftar is not only determined by security priorities, but also driven by strong ideological drivers and economic opportunism.

Reportedly, since 2014 Egypt has intervened in Libyan conflict and provided high level support for Hafar.

Turkey has long supported the UN-backed GNA diplomatically, economically and with its security. There are very few international players that have given the same level of assistance to the UN-backed government.  Therefore, Ankara could continue to support internationally recognised government despite Sisi’s statement.  

- Some experts claim that Egypt is invigorated by Russia, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are also strong supporters of Haftar-led Libyan National Army, to engage in the military confrontation with Turkey in Libya. What do you about this?

- Haftar main backers including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) seem to take an increasingly military approach to Libyan conflict that could drive Libya into further insecurity.Given the circumstances, at this point, it's hard to expect any direct confrontation between Turkey and Haftar supporters including Egypt.

- How do you assess Egyptian initiative for peace in Libya?   And why Turkey and the GNA have rejected document that have been proposed by Al-Sisi after huge losses of Haftar forces? 

Warlord Haftar and his Egyptian allies offered a truce following a string of military defeats. Egypt urged international support for the initiative and called on the United Nations to encourage Libya’s rival administrations for talks.  However, the UN-backed government refused Egypt’s call for a cease-fire. Meanwhile, forces loyal to GNA have been advancing on Sirte, a coastal city and a gateway to the oilfields and the east.

Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army(LNA) are the main obstacle to reconciliation in Libya as he has tried to install a military rule but failed miserably. Thus, Haftar seems to be in difficult position, the move comes amid significant losses for Haftar, particularly his loss of a number of cities and a key military base in the west of the country. As a consequence, his heavy losses in the west have caused fractures within his eastern camp.

As I have written in my latest opinion piece, Egypt’s call for a truce,  seems to be more about seeking to salvage what remains of Haftar’s project. As Egypt, the UAE, France and Russia have invested billions of dollars in this project, they are attempting to create some sort of momentum to slow down the significant military losses.

Interviewed by Yunis Abdullayev

 

 

 

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