Important potential changes in British policy towards Libya may be afoot. The Conservative Middle East Council (CMEC) released its report following a trip to Libya last week by CMEC director Leo Doherty and including Kwasi Kwarteng MP, a backbench Conservative MP and prominent Brexiteer who is in favour of expanding the UK’s commercial relations with the Middle East. Libya is the number one target and CMEC wants Britain to be with the winner: Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar.
They had what appears to be a very positive meeting
Here is the Executive Summary extracted from the report:
CMEC’s report released the truth I have been speaking about for over two years now. Field Marshall Haftar sees his mission as fighting extremist terrorism. Haftar represents the large degree of order and governance that exists in eastern Libya today. Even Benghazi has been recaptured from the extremists. Despite being under pressure, the east remains comparatively stable while now the west, the capital Tripoli, is plagued by disorder and insecurity. The elected parliament in Tobruk, the HoR, is the nucleus for the development of a parliamentary system, and has a geographical reach across Libya. Western Libya, particularly Tripoli itself, is dominated by warlords and criminal gangs even Italian Mafia; they all have an interest in prolonging the relative confusion in the west. This British MP report is real news, not fake. Where is Britain's FCO?
The report’s release on Monday coincides with Haftar making his final move. After re-securing the Sirte Basin oil fields from the Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB), Haftar’s forces are now moving west towards Tripoli. This shift in the Libyan battle space again is putting pressure on the UN-supported Government of National Accord (GNA), the General National Congress (GNC), and the hodge-podge of militias who are now fighting for power by seizing specific television stations and key government buildings that symbolise Tripoli’s divided elites. Egypt, France, Russia, and the UAE are all backing Haftar. Russia is said to have about 100 advisors on the ground in eastern Libya and has deployed Russian Spetsnaz elite forces and aircraft to Sidi Barrani airbase in western Egypt.
Italy, because of national pride, switched from Haftar to Tripoli extremists, and now holds a losing hand. Rome & the Italian government will likely fold because of this and probably criminal Mafia influences.
Haftar’s success is now attracting international attention away from the convulsions in Tripoli to Tobruk where the House of Representatives (HoR) is located. This parallel government, the HoR, in divided Libya is about to seize control of the country’s assets, the National Oil Company (NOC), the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), and ultimately, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). Now Haftar is receiving visitors in a new, official light.
Last month, the Russian firm Rosneft signed a cooperation agreement to help redevelop Libyan oilfields. UK Ambassador Peter Millett met with Haftar to all but concede to the Field Marshall that the UK had reconsidered its position. It's alleged that Millett expressed regret that much had been said about the UK’s apparently negative role in Libya and recognises that that must be reversed.
CMEC’s recommendations stated that the UK should urgently engage with Haftar, the LNA, and the HoR. The UK should support the LNA to secure Libya’s borders and bring an end to the illegal trafficking of people from Libya’s sea ports. The UK should immediately reconsider the view of the GNA and acknowledge its inability to excercise any kind of governance or security for Libya.
These recommendations are not just directions for the UK, but also should be read by London’s allies such as the United States who have mistakenly supported the Muslim Brotherhood since 2011 revolution.
By far, illegal migration, which flows through Tripoli’s ungovernable territory, is a clear and present danger to southern Europe. Still. After over two years. Libya’s migrant flow is an urgent humanitarian and security issue for all of Europe, because of the alarming rise of extremist militias in the Mediterranean and because of the fiasco that has followed NATO’s intervention in 2011. Italy remains the primary target of the Tripoli-based smugglers. In recent months, Italy faced a sharp rise in newcomers and the number of boat arrivals surged about 50 per cent compared to the same period last year. Thousands of migrants have already died at sea since the recent influx started in 2015. In the past few months, hundreds of migrants have drowned or died due to western Libya’s lawlessness.
British MP Kwarteng argues that Haftar could be a “source of stability” for Libya. The alternative to Haftar he suggested could be “endless discussion, debates and procrastination”. Kwarteng’s thinking is spot on and how grateful we must all be that a Brit woke up finally to Haftar’s legitimate place in Libya’s history.
As far as Serraj, the GNA and Tripoli are concerned this seems to be the end of the UN's western invention, the GNA, the so called government especially given the fact that the major militias of Tripoli are at odds with the Muslim Brotherhood political puppet masters.
Haithem Tajouri rejected the Tripoli ceasefire of a few days ago as more fighting escalated all over Tripoli - The Rada Special Deterrence Force, led by Abdul Raouf Kara, and the Abu Sleem Central Security Force, headed by Ghneiwa (Abdul Ghani Al-Kikli) seemed to have joined him.
For me the key for Tripoli and the man that can stabilise the capital is Hisham Bishr, a name to watch for in future.
Tripoli is the key to Libya's future.