EU Threatens Sanctions on Libyan Meddlers

  • Turkey is an ally of the Government of National Accord (GNA), while Russia, the UAE, and Egypt support the Libyan National Army (LNA). 
  • "We call on all foreign actors to cease their interference and respect the arms embargo established by the United Nations Security Council," the statement said.
  • Turkey accuses France of supporting Haftar against the GNA.

The leaders of three European countries threatened to impose sanctions on foreign powers that violate the arms embargo on the Libyan war parties. Although they have not named any country, their threat appears aimed at Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.

Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj is the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya that was formed as a result of the Libyan Political Agreement signed on 17 December 2015.

Turkey is an ally of the Government of National Accord (GNA), while Russia, the UAE, and Egypt support the Libyan National Army (LNA). France, Germany, and Italy announced their willingness to consider “the possibility of sanctions against foreign powers violating the arms embargo to Libya,” according to a joint statement issued by leaders of the three countries, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Giuseppe Conte.

“We call on all foreign actors to cease their interference and respect the arms embargo established by the United Nations Security Council,” the statement said. The same document continued that the parties to the war, and their supporters, should work to stop the war immediately, speaking also from the signatories of “deep concerns about the increasing military tension in the country.”

They said they are “ready to consider the possible use of sanctions if the violations of the embargo on the sea, on land and in the air continue,” the three leaders added in the statement, published in conjunction with the European summit devoted to examining Corona’s repercussions on the European economy.

Libya is witnessing official interference from Turkey, on behalf of the forces of the GNA, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. There is also indirect interference from other countries, including Russia, the UAE, and Egypt, in favor of the forces of Khalifa Haftar.

Cairo is threatening to intervene, too, officially for the benefit of the authorities of the Libyan East. Turkey and its followers accuse France in turn, of supporting General Khalifa Haftar.

In the new Turkish-Egyptian Talasan, the Egyptian government said yesterday, through the Foreign Ministry, that it rejects “Turkish political and military interference in the Arab affairs, which lacks any legal basis, and even violates Security Council resolutions, whether it is in Iraq, in Syria or in Libya.”

“It is surprising, the adventure of the Turkish administration in the capabilities of the Turkish people through intervention and involvement in the crises of Arab countries, “according to Cairo’s description.

Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar is a Libyan-American military officer and the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which, under Haftar’s leadership, replaced nine elected municipal councils by military administrators, and as of May 2019, was engaged in the Second Libyan Civil War.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, had earlier criticized the countries that participated in the Berlin Conference on Libya, saying:

“I pledged not to interfere in the Libyan operation, and committed not to send weapons or participate in fighting in any way. The truth is that the prohibition (armament) imposed by the Security Council is still being violated.”

Guterres also denounced “foreign intervention of an unprecedented level” in Libya, by “delivering advanced equipment,” and “mercenary participation in battles.”

Turkish – French Criticism

The GNA, supported by Turkey, is recognized by the United Nations. Haftar controls the Libyan East, and Turkey accuses France of supporting him. The French government continues to deny this. Turkish support for the GNA helped restore large areas from the grip of Haftar’s forces.

Tensions between the two NATO allies escalated after Ankara conducted gas exploration operations in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as the rise of the Turkish military presence in Libya.

Ankara is discussing with the GNA the possibility of Turkey using two military bases in Libya, in pursuit of a permanent Turkish presence in the southern Mediterranean region.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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