Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Erdogan's losses in Libya trapped in the cage of his Ottoman delusions

Wednesday 01/July/2020 - 01:23 PM
The Reference
Nahla Abdel Moneim


The Libyan file is of the utmost importance to the international community, as the United States is trying to reach a solution to this crisis, at least through diplomatic endeavors, in full agreement with the Egyptian and European vision to resolve the conflict. This in turn puts global pressure on Turkey, which wants to drain Tripoli's natural resources, including oil and gas.



On Monday, June 22, the US National Security Council stressed the country's opposition to the military escalation in Libya, calling on all Libyan parties to abide by the UN resolutions on the ceasefire and the resumption of negotiations based on the progress made by the UN talks of the 5+5 military committee, the outcomes of the Berlin Summit, and the recommendations of the Cairo Declaration.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya on June 21,US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus stressed the role of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s speech regarding strengthening the efforts of Libya and neighboring regional countries to implement the ceasefire in the country and to promote internal peace to spare the Libyan people from further conflicts. She confirmed the United States’ support for the Egyptian efforts to return to political negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations, pointing out that the US also supports the cessation of foreign military interference in Libya, implementing the arms embargoes, and committing to the results of the Berlin Summit to resolve the crisis peacefully.


Against Erdogan

The US position represents new support for the international line-up against the Ottoman ambitions in Libya, which in turn affects the seriousness of the justifications that Erdogan is trying to present to support his military presence in the region with the help of the Brotherhood. European countries, led by France and Germany, as well as the United States and Arab countries, support peaceful solutions to the crisis. This was clearly demonstrated in the international support for the results of the Berlin Summit, the United Nations, the Cairo Declaration, and Sisi’s recent speech on the need to intervene to stop the spread of terrorist and mercenary militias in Libya.

 Given this unified position, which in turn constitutes a burden for Ankara to find allies to support its presence in Tripoli, the Turkish government seeks to split the European ranks by wooing Italy to its side, taking advantage of European differences over a number of internal files. But even this polarization seems weak. Before the meeting that brought together the foreign ministers of Italy and Turkey on June 20, Rome signed an agreement to demarcate the maritime borders with Greece, blocking the road to Erdogan and his expansionist ambitions in the region, where he seeks to plunder the natural gas wealth in order to prop up Turkey’s weak production and domestic reserves of crude.


Losing bet

The United States' position in support of the Egyptian, German, and international initiative to solve the crisis in Libya is a huge loss for Turkey, as it was counting on the US administration to support it in Libya through its internal ally, the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj. In May, GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha called on Washington to build military bases in the country to repel Russian expansion in the region, which appears to be an attempt by Turkey to find an ally to support it.


Square zero

In this regard, Mohamed Ezz El-Arab, a researcher at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said in a media statement that Turkey seeks to bring the US administration to its side on Libya instead of standing alone, using the file of Russian-African relations to fuel US support for its demand after congressional voices called for an American presence in Africa. The recent US position on Libya therefore takes Erdogan back to square zero.