Turkey rejects Libya ceasefire proposal

Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has rejected the Egyptian initiative to implement a cessation of hostilities in Libya, a country that has been in civil war since 2011 and whose situation has worsened dramatically with the escalation of conflicts between the two warring factions, the National Unity Government (GNA) and the National Liberation Army (LNA), and the spread of the coronavirus.

The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, after holding a meeting with the LNA commander, Marshal Jalifa Haftar, and the president of the Libyan Parliament – under the control of the GNA -, Aguila Saleh, presented a roadmap for the North African nation that included the entry into force of a ceasefire from Monday the 8th and the departure of all mercenaries and foreign powers currently involved in the conflict. The plan was immediately supported by the United States, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries.

Ankara has rejected the initiative just a week after it announced full control over the capital, Tripoli, a battlefield for 14 months, when Haftar’s forces launched an offensive to try to win it back from the hands of the GNA. With this victory, Erdogan is more convinced than ever that he can win the Libyan war and, in fact, as reported by local media, the following movements of Turkey in the North African country contemplate the “liberation” of all the major cities that are located currently under the dominance of the LNA. Among them, the oil town of Sirte stands out, on which Erdogan himself has recognized his interest in energy resources. “There are elements within the GNA that want to capitalize on recent successes and move as far east as possible [el bastión de Haftar]. So far, however, they have met resistance from Sirte, who is likely to fight hard against the GNA, “explains lead researcher at King’s College London School of Security Studies, Alison Pargeter, in Al-Monitor.

“The Cairo ceasefire initiative was born dead. If a ceasefire is signed, it must be done on a platform that brings everyone together, so the call to end hostilities to save Haftar does not seem sincere or credible to us, “said Cavusoglu in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. Ankara thus shows her intention to be at the negotiating table on the future of Libya, at the same level as Cairo, although she pretends that the LNA does not participate, which she accuses of being “the main obstacle to peace” in the North African nation. .

As analyst Diego Cupolo explains in Al-Monitor, “events raise prospects for further conflict between Libya’s warring parties and cast doubt on Hafter’s political future, but observers say many uncertainties remain, as the outcome the battles in Sirte and YouFra will largely depend on the military support of the foreign sponsors of the LNA. ”

That is why, for many experts, the role that Haftar’s ally Egypt can play in the war becomes key. “An intervention [militar] It would frustrate Ankara’s plans and force the GNA to return to the diplomatic path ”, they expose from South Front.

The EU launched a petition this week to end hostilities in Libya, exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe in the country. A requirement that, until now, has been ignored.