The confrontation, the 10th of June last, between the Turkish navy and the French frigate, The Courbet was likely to reveal much more about the intentions of Turkey as she wished. The Courbet was approaching a civilian vessel suspected of violating the international embargo on weapons in Libya, when the Turkish navy was illuminated with its radar, fire control, three times. It was a moment of hubris that has broken not only the protocols, formal and informal, between the allies (Turkey and France are both Nato members), but made also more difficult with the denial of the severity of the action of turkey in Libya, or even its intentions wider.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has made it clear that he had no desire to be a bridge between Europe and the arab world : he has chosen instead to remodel the Turkey according to its imperial past and to position it as a competitor and adversary of these two entities. The president Macron was the first european leader to openly acknowledge this reality and this danger. In defiance of the european Union and Nato to stand up to Turkey in Libya and Syria, Emmanuel Macron has positioned France as the strategic leader of Europe in respect of Turkey and security in the Mediterranean sea, joining his voice to that of the arab majority.
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Expropriation of resources in the Mediterranean
The Turkey has a lot of accounts to make, with attempts old – with Qatar and the muslim brotherhood – to sow chaos in the arab world, using it as a cover interpretation of aggressive and perverted islam. In just the past few months, Erdogan has used the refugees in Syria and in Libya to exert pressure on Europe ; he has collaborated with Iran for bombing the Kurdish pro-western in Iraq and he actively sought to exploit the instability in the Horn of Africa to its advantage.
Yet, Libya is undeniably the platform of expansionism "neo-ottoman" self-proclaimed. At the end of last year, Erdoğan has skillfully exploited the divisions within the government of national accord in libya to enact bilateral agreements which he has then used to justify extensive expropriations of resources in the Mediterranean region and to provide sophisticated weapons and thousands of mercenaries syrians to the west of Libya. As they have done in similar circumstances, the united arab Emirates were involved with France and other allies to fight against these threats.
with respect to its activities in Libya, the international community must first send the clear and unequivocal message to Turkey that its behavior is unacceptable. Then, she must put all its weight behind calls for a cease-fire, which would enable Libya to return to a political process free of outside actions, hostile. There is a mechanism for that : the Cairo declaration of the egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on 6 June last, based on the recommendations of the Berlin conference supported by the united Nations. It provides for a ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of foreign fighters from Libya and negotiations a multi-pronged, paving the way to elections.
It is necessary to add in this context an illustration of this dramatic madness to believe that a military solution to the libyan conflict exists. After having accused their opponents of creating a humanitarian crisis and tried to subject the whole country to their will, the militias of libya supported by Turkey are displaced to the east, committing acts of revenge and calling on all Libyans to submit to them. The current impasse around the coastal city of Sirte puts more than 60,000 people in danger. Yet, lives are endangered everywhere else in the country.
Spread the Covid-19
The libyan economy collapsed. Large parts of the west and the south are essentially zones of non-law. There are two times more cases of Covid-19 known that a few weeks ago and Libya does not have the infrastructure that allow it to determine the extent of the pandemic, and even less of the fight. Without a political solution built on a solid foundation, and supported by the libyan people, and without withdrawal of all foreign forces, this conflict will continue until the social fabric is destroyed. The Libyans have unfortunately learned that each time that the pendulum has swung in favor of one side or the other they pay the price.
The united arab Emirates is confident about the fact that the vast majority of people wishes to end this war. We do not believe that the libyan people support the attempts of Al-Qaeda or Daech control of vast parts of the country. We do not believe that the Libyans are supporting the exploitation and trafficking of african refugees. We do not believe that they agree with the actions of armed militias and irresponsible. Why ? Because to this day, the Libyans have not accepted any of these plagues.
Destabilization of the arab world
The country had two national elections and, to date, the results of the two polls have not been respected. The same actors have repeatedly perverted the letter and the intent of the political agreement of the libyan arbitrated by the united Nations and on the basis of which the current government proclaims its legitimacy. The main interest of the Uae in Libya is to ensure that the foreign forces do not succeed to use the country as a lever to destabilize the arab world. But the essential is not only the end of the conflict.
With a functional leadership, and the wise management of resources, Libya has the potential to become a base for regional economic growth and cohesion. A Libyan anti-sway and non-presence is destabilizing at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and the arab world. It is clear that it can't happen without an act of courage and forgiveness on the part of the Libyans. They need to be allowed to bring their country without having to be constantly driven on a quest of regional dominance imbued with ideology.
Anwar Gargash, minister of State for foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. © DR *Anwar Gargash, minister of State for foreign Affairs of the united arab Emirates.