Authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared today (9 June 2020) that he has reached an unspecified agreement with Donald Trump for imperialist control of Libya during telephone talks.
Clearly not content with Turkish occupation of parts of Northern Syria, Erdoğan told Turkish state television that the pair had agreed “a new era” for Libya. No details were given and apparently the Turkish and US presidents saw no need for Libyan input.
Turkey has had boots on the ground in Syria since 5 January 2020. It is well known however that Turkey had mercenary forces on the ground at least months prior to this deployment, including Syrian jihadists of the so-called “Syrian National Army” transported to Libya.
Turkish support for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli was key in allowing them to push back the besieging forces of the General Khalifa Haftar in recent weeks.
Haftar leads a rival government based in Tobruk backed by Putin’s Russia. On Sunday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said he had agreed with Turkey to cooperate in Libya.
Libya has been in a state of civil war since 2014 when NATO backed rebels, including jihadists, overthrew and killed Muammar Gaddafi. Civilian administration has since collapsed, with Libya dominated by competing militias.
Libya’s oil wealth is now being plundered by European oil monopolies. The war has also had a destabilising effect across North Africa. Most shockingly Libyan cities now feature open slave markets with black Africans being bought and sold.
The western sponsored Berlin Conference in January this year failed to bring any progress. Not least because all the participants of the Conference themselves were responsible for the 2011 NATO war, the break-up of Libya and factional conflict since.
It is widely understood that the real cause of the conflict, as with the conflict in Syria, are inter-imperialist competition between the UK-EU-US bloc and Russia for energy resources and transit routes. Both back, respectively, the competing factions of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Haftar.
Turkish priorities in the region explain the the bold Turkish aggression aimed at securing energy and resources and routes and maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean. The so-called Turkey-Libya Maritime Deal signed with the Turkish-backed GNA plans for an exclusive economic zone and rights to oil wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Challenge News Desk