"No red lines". What keeps Turkey and Egypt from the war in Libya
The Egyptian Parliament gave to the head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the right to use armed force in Libya — Cairo supports the General Haftarot, whose army controls Eastern part of the country. In response, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intensified assistance to the Government of national consensus Faiza Saraga in Tripoli. Brewing Turkish-Egyptian clash. Who will be able to reconcile the parties of the confrontation, understood to RIA Novosti.
General Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan national army (LNA) hold the towns of Sirte and al-Dzhufra where is located oil terminals, through which Europe takes the main export commodity of Libya — hydrocarbons. The national consensus government (NTC), headed by Faiz by Sarraj made an unsuccessful attempt to knock out power LNA. The situation changed after the intervention of Turkey.
Winter Sarraj and Erdogan agreed on the financial and military assistance. On the coast of Sirte started the battles. Despite the obvious benefits, the NTC has failed to take the city: due to international mediators.
First, Moscow and Ankara have renewed a bilateral talks on the Libyan settlement. Then it took Cairo: Egyptian authorities have always supported the Haftarah, but this time engaged in a dialogue with his opponents.
President al-Sisi called on the international community to reconcile the factions and to put pressure on the external parties to the conflict to disarm the unit Saraja and to transfer the arsenals of the Haftarot. Otherwise, the Egyptian authorities did not exclude direct involvement in the conflict. The fighting ceased.
Despite the lull, tensions on the outskirts of Sirte and al-Dzhufre saved. The army recently Haftarot recorded growth in the number of troops of the NTC and their active movement along the coast. There were rumors that the Eastern town is preparing a new attack: Sarraj said that no "red lines" during the attack on Sirte.
Army of Haftarot after the spring battle for Tripoli suffered losses. To prevent a conflict or at least prepare for it, the authorities of the East appealed to Cairo. Egypt immediately promised to send troops.
The clash between the Haftarot and Sarraj may lead to an open armed confrontation between Egypt and Turkey, and this will affect all the countries of North Africa. This prospect has alarmed neighbours of Libya. One of the first made by the President of Algeria Abdelmajid Tibbon: called on the parties to listen to the views of the United Nations.
Opponents agreed. Arrived in the country, the acting UN special envoy for Libya, Stephanie Williams. Talking about the settlement gave breakthrough results. But Algeria did not give up: foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum hot on the trail went to Moscow.
"Algeria and Russia adhere to the agreements of the Berlin conference (for Libya. — Approx. ed.). It is clearly spelled out and specific steps and their sequence, and timing. We believe that it is still valid," — said Sergey Lavrov.
Boukadoum confirmed that the Algerian side is against the war in Libya. The two Ministers recalled that the opposition parties committed to stop fighting and not to provoke each other. Another important point — the embargo on arms supplies to the TNC and the LDF.
Talks on Libyan settlement continue between Russia and Turkey. This week announced the intention to establish a joint working group on Libya — the new format will be more active. The ultimate goal is to achieve a sustainable ceasefire, said in a statement the Russian foreign Ministry.
Experts do not exclude that the Russian-Turkish consultations will be similar to the negotiation process on Syria.
"According to Moscow, Libya must not fall into the sphere of influence of one country — Turkey or Egypt. Only under this condition we can observe the interests of all parties. In Russia there are no favourites, Ankara and Cairo understand it. The situation is reminiscent of the talks on Syria in "Astana format." Between Iran and Turkey was a lot of controversy, but in the end the country became the guarantors of political settlement," — said the expert of the Russian Council for international Affairs Grigoriy Lukyanov.
"Russia is sympathetic to the Haftarot, however, generally kept neutral and interacts with both sides of the confrontation, but also with Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Italy and France, although not all share the same views on Libya. It is not excluded that the Russian authorities are trying to restore the severely shaken confidence of external forces to the Haftarot. Turkey does not want to make contact with the field Marshal. Perhaps the talks with Russia will change the balance," explains Orhan Gafarli of the Center for political studies in Ankara.
Despite the ominous rhetoric of Turkey and Egypt, the experts exclude their direct clash in Libya. Ankara and Cairo have other interests, and the war they are only a hindrance.
Lukyanov reveals the economic motives: "Turkey seeks to consolidate the agreement with the NTC on the division of the Mediterranean shelf — thus Ankara will strengthen the positions at negotiations on gas export with the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean. A clash with Egypt in Libyan territory will put on this cross".
The main task of the Cairo — the weakening of the influence of the Islamists, the expert believes. He recalled that in the PNS many supporters of the "Muslim Brothers"*. For al-Sisi "Ikhwan" ("al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun"* — the name of the "Muslim Brothers"* in Arabic), an ideological enemy. Moderate Islamists ruling Turkey, also told the Egyptian leader's suspicions.
"The rhetoric of Egypt's readiness to invade Libya — rather a demonstration. But she focused just on the prevention of hostilities. Open confrontation is not in the interests of Cairo, " — said Lukyanov.
Gafarly draws attention to the fact that Turkey during the reign in Egypt of the Islamist Mohammed Morsi managed to conclude with it the agreement on the division of the Mediterranean shelf. In fact, the document is similar to what Erdogan signed in the spring with the LDF. But after the change of power in Cairo of an agreement with Ankara repealed. "The relations between the countries deteriorated sharply. Now the agreement with Sarraj shelf of the Mediterranean — the only way to strengthen the status of Ankara in the region."
While external players have a tactical and pragmatic interests in Libya of direct military clashes can be avoided.
*Banned in Russia as a terrorist organization