Russia and Turkey’s lingering shadow over Libya

Vladimir Poutine and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Russian and Turkish presidents, had been invited, but were represented. The international conference on Libya, organized Friday, November 12 in Paris, was supposed to breathe new life into the delicate electoral process engaged in this fractured country, while insisting on the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries, Russian and Turkish in particular. The summit allowed “To act on these two main objectives”, welcomed Emmanuel Macron, the French president, at the end of the discussions. For Angela Merkel, whose last visit to Paris as German Chancellor was perhaps, “Progress is sometimes slow, but it has progressed.” Without hiding that there was still work to be done.

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This time, the Europeans have sought to unite in hope of ending a decade of violence, since the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi following the intervention of NATO, France and the United Kingdom. : the meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Macron, Mr.me Merkel, the president of the Italian council, Mario Draghi, the United Nations, as well as the Libyan transitional authorities. The head of the national unity government, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, and the president of the presidential council, Mohammed Al-Menfi, had both made the trip. US Vice President Kamala Harris was also present as part of her visit to Paris this week.

Divergences

While the ceasefire agreed between the belligerents has been in force for a year, and a government bringing together the different factions is in place, the aim was to affirm that the presidential and legislative elections would be well organized simultaneously, or that their results would be recognized by all the forces involved. Differences remain between Libyan officials on the modalities of the announced elections and the electoral law remains to be voted on.

As a compromise, conference participants therefore agreed to support an electoral process ” beginner “ December 24, down from the initial formulations. Those who will seek, “Inside or outside Libya”, impeding the elections and the transition may be subject to UN sanctions.

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On the military level, and the question of the departure of foreign forces, neither Ankara nor Moscow want to take the first step, at the risk of losing the positions acquired since their intervention, to the benefit of the authorities in Tripoli for the Turks, alongside Marshal Haftar for the Russians. On this point, Westerners want to be categorical: “Turkey and Russia must also withdraw without delay their mercenaries and their military forces, whose presence threatens the stability and security of the country and the whole region”, said the French president, emphasizing a first step: the withdrawal announced the day before of 300 Chadian fighters, ” in the next weeks “.

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Russia and Turkey’s lingering shadow over Libya

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