Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Former Egyptian diplomat claims that Egypt will intervene militarily in Libya

Egypt has for long been a supporter of the House of Representatives(HoR), Al-Thinni government of Abdullah al-Thinni and commander of his armed forces General Khalifa Haftar.

In turn Haftar, has expressed his admiration for Egyptian president Abdel el-Sisi. Egypt is thought to have been responsible for some air attacks in support of Haftar. Egypt's support for Haftar and the HoR comes even as it signs a joint declaration by many countries supporting the position that the UN-backed Government of National Accord(GNA) is the sole legitimate government in Libya. Haftar refuses to recognize the GNA and has been quite critical of Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG), Martin Kobler. Other countries such as the UAE, Jordan and Russia also signed the joint declaration but at the same time support Haftar and the HoR.
Former Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt for Arab Affairs Ahmed Al-Qawisni, claimed that Egypt would need to intervene in Libya militarily to maintain national security. He said the intervention would protect the borders and oil installations. Al-Qawisni said:"When there are Egyptian troops in Libya, the western countries would think twice before intervening. Egypt will not let the oil ports be taken away from the Libyan people." He also referred to the support that Egypt provided Haftar. Qawisni's remarks are quoted in the Libya Observer which is usually opposed to Haftar and the HoR. However, it does seem probably if forces associated with the GNA decided negotiation was fruitless and tried to defeat Haftar that Egypt could very well intervene to see that they did not succeed. The same source suggests that Haftar has drawn up a list of military and political officers to be assassinated because they could challenge his power. The list includes Mihdi Baraghati the defense minister of the GNA government and Ibrahim Jodhran head, or perhaps former head, of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG).
Meanwhile, Haftar has not only repulsed a counter-attack by the PFG on two of the fur oil ports he seized, but has taken several towns occupied by the PFG east of Sirte. He advanced to within 50 kilometers of Sirte. At the same time he is extending his power by replacing civilian authorities by military commanders in several cities including Benghazi, Ajdabiya, and Al Kufra. The next move may be on the city of Tobruk, where HoR is located. According to a recent tweet: "In a new development, the mayor of Tubrok asks for a military governor to replace him." Perhaps someone suggested to the mayor that this might be a good idea.


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