Another unforeseen twist in Libya saga
April 26, 2017 | 8:21 PM
by Richard J. C. Galustian
Ageilah Saleh: The meeting with Swehli on the 22nd April was mediated by Italy. (Abdul Rahman Swehli position is Head of so called Tripoli based High Council of State. Salah is Head of Elected parliament, the HoR.) - Supplied photo
 
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Libya’s biggest potential game-changer in its civil war came last week in a couple of sentences from Donald Trump, when he declared last Friday that the US has “no role” in Libya.

​He made the comments after a meeting with Italy’s prime minister who had been urging Washington to take a commanding role, and his response went down badly in Rome. “I do not see a role in Libya. I think the United States has right now enough roles. We are in a role everywhere.”

​What makes it such a political earthquake is that Washington was instrumental in setting up the ailing Government of National Accord which is clinging on for its life in Tripoli. America’s envoy Jonathan Winer provided the heavy lifting, together with Britain and France, to support the GNA which arrived in Libya a year ago.

​The fact the GNA was chosen by a UN committee, staffed by unelected Libyans, rather than chosen by the electorate is the most glaring problem it faces, with prime minister Fayez Sarraj unable even to control a capital city full of militias. Until now he had hoped that the world’s only Hyper Power was on his side. If Trump does not have a rethink, that is about to change.

​Other powers involved - Russia, France and certain Gulf States.

Meeting in Rome - Saleh (HOR) returned home saying meeting was really just cosmetic. Oh really! Someone is engineering these games. The Italians clearly are front runners.

Again I repeat the statement by President Trump made to the Italian Prime Minister the other day that he, Trump, sees no role for US in Libya is a real US policy decision, not a knee jerk comment, it changes the equation for all particularly the French in the South of Libya and Russia for all of Libya. The question is what is going to be done about the insidious and dangerous Muslim Brotherhood and their fellow brothers 'former' AQ LIFG members ensconced in Tripoli.

With EU arrest warrants hanging over their heads, Salah and Swehli met in Rome without being arrested.

Result: a 'fake' typical news headline of "SUCCESSFUL LIBYAN TALKS IN ROME" concocted for the media that they swallowed happily and churned out to the increasingly apathetic public.

Then, almost unbelievably, Salah went to see it is alleged Ghwail the PM of the third Government National Salvation Government (NSG) in Tripoli comprising of Muslim Brotherhood and 'former' AQ terrorists, not Serraj the PM of the GNA appointed (not elected by the people of Libya) but the UN. It is becoming a real farce; what will Hafter's next move be? To embrace Saleh? I doubt it.

So yet again we are at a crossroads in Libya.

Is dividing Libya into three countries/regions now inevitable?

In my opinion Russia, Egypt and the UAE must redouble their efforts to support in every way Hafter and all must tacitly agree to give a free hand to the French in the South of Libya whose interests are clear and linked to uranium for their nuclear power stations of which there is an abundance in Central Africa, France's old colonial stomping ground.

At the same time the spirit of Nelson Mandela must prevail in Libya with a Truth and Reconciliation commission including, in my view, both Saif and Aisha Gaddafi BOTH not criminals in any way whatsoever in any Court, even the 'Mickey Mouse' ICC one.

There must be clarity. If USA is abandoning Libya, as Trump appeared to say, the UK for a start becomes irrelevant due there continued sheepish following of a non existent yet American foreign policy. Great Britain has a huge historical experience that would benefit the MENA region if only it would detach itself from America until the US finally decides on it's foreign policies.

If we citizens of the world want to prevent WW111, we need to involve Russia in all things before its too late.


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