Libya clash between Macron and Erdogan

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“Sirianizzazione.” Bad word, right idea. The French Foreign Minister had already used it a month ago, frightened by the drift. They all repeat it in these hours: yes, the Libya Turkey and Russia are becoming more and more a gift box for two, the same ones that command in Syria and that here arm the Tripolino government of Fayez al-Sarraj, the other the Cyrenaean general Khalifa Haftar. The civil war is at a turning point. And since last winter, since Erdogan brought the Syrian militiamen to Tripoli, the power relations have reversed: Sarraj wins, Haftar retires, Ankara enjoys.

It can last? Haftar’s supporter Emmanuel Macron, who was already furious because last week his frigates patrolling the Mediterranean had stumbled upon a Turkish cargo ship full of weapons, had just missed the naval battle. . In addition to a diplomatic crisis: “Turkey is playing a dangerous game,” says the French president. “The dangerous game” you do, Erdogan’s answer: “By being with the coup leader Haftar and creating chaos”. To be clearer, the Sultan arrested an ex French consulate guard in Istanbul and three Turks, all accused of being Paris’ payroll spies in the world of Islamists.

Once upon a time there was NATO. The same that nine years ago chased Gaddafi, with the sound of French bombers, and today it finds two member countries against each other armed. “It is the brain death of the Atlantic Alliance,” acknowledges the Elysée: “But we must tell the Turks: it’s time to stop. We will not tolerate your role. You have reached the goal of reversing the military situation: that’s enough. “

The concept was repeated by Macron in a phone call to Donald Trump, one who so far only cared about Libya about oil or terrorism, and instead sent the head of the Pentagon to Africa, Townsend, on Monday to negotiate a military truce. It is also partly the position of Italy, which plays on the two tables: Luigi Di Maio has been to Turkey, now goes to Tripoli and keeps the Haftar channel open, because the crisis “concerns our national security” and “we cannot allow no partition “(read: Syrianization).

The last thing Libya needs are new interventions from abroad, a UN spokesman said yesterday morning. And instead too many are shaking: with the France, alongside Haftar, here is the sidingEgypt. “There is a red line” that the Turks cannot overcome, warns President Al Sisi: this line goes from Sirte, the symbolic hometown of Gaddafi already freed from ISIS, and arrives at the Al Jufra air base, 250 km to the south, where the Russians have placed the Mig-29s, the Su-24s and the thousands of mercenaries of the Wagner private army, all in support of Cyrenaica. If Sirte falls, as it seems, the Turks’ march eastwards could go as far as Benghazi and the large oil wells of Ras Lanuf. «Unacceptable»: speaking to his soldiers, Al Sisi did not rule out an armed intervention in the name of national security – «get ready» -, and received the applause of Saudis, Emirati, of the whole Arab League, because «Egypt he has the right to defend his borders ».

Of course there are the old rusts with Erdogan, which in 2013 financed the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo as it now gives money to the Tripoli Muslims. But above all there is the French and Egyptian alliance with Putin.
What he says he wants a ceasefire and on the fire, so far, has often blown. As in Syria.

June 23, 2020 (change June 23, 2020 | 22:23)

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