In Berlin we chat, in Libya we will continue to die

(To Pasquale Preziosa)
2020/09/26

Many are wondering what the great countries and large international organizations have concluded in Berlin.

The simplest answer is: little or almost nothing.

Russia could not concede more than it had already achieved in Moscow.

The US was forced to speak at the Berlin meeting, but all foreign policy commitments were postponed after November.

The European Union has not put any European solution required by Italy on the table.

The African Union has maintained the usual low political profile and therefore of no relevance in the decision-making context.

The pro Haftar coalition: Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia defended their position, as opposed to Sarraj and the newcomer, Turkey and Qatar.

Nobody at the Berlin meeting revealed that the only UN sanctioned leader was Sarraj, nobody contested the Sarraj-Erdogan agreement for the autonomous and arbitrary division of the EEZ.

The old strategic plan that wanted Libya's future to be decided by the Libyans is now gone.

The regional and European powers, in various ways, have altered the initial framework by injecting their geographic, historical and energy ambitions into the tortured Libya.

The geostrategic framework established after Berlin is clear to many analysts.

Libya is reproducing the same political instability situation present in Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan, where the geopolitical interests of individuals prevail over interests in stability, with the addition of energy interests.

For the energy part, the first message read by many is as follows: for the Franco-Italian dispute over the leadership in Libya, the Turkish one prevailed with a nice strategic plan on the exploitation of natural energy resources: the two European countries would have done better if they had worked together, it's too late now.

In line with its objectives, France supports Haftar, while Italy has always supported Sarraj, who however has not neglected to conclude the agreements with Turkey also against Italian interests.

Turkey is now looking for energy sources to lower the risks of national security linked to high imports of energy products.

There is another objective for Turkey and it is religious in character, let's call it more populist. Turkey and Qatar have been repeatedly cited as the main financiers of the Muslim brother organization.

Erdogan accused Al Sisi of the death in prison of President Morsi, belonging to the Muslim brothers, first deposed and then arrested. Al Sisi has banned Muslim brothers in Egypt therefore, Egypt-Turkey relations are irremediable.

Geopolitically, Turkey already has bases in Sudan and Somalia that give it access to the Red and Arab seas, but wants a base in the eastern Mediterranean to challenge and put pressure on countries such as: Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Egypt.

Turkey's intervention in Libya sees 58% of Turkish citizens against it.

In support of Al Sisi who has an interest in Libyan energy resources, there are both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia (in addition to Jordan, Sudan and indirectly France), which have only the interest to support the internal struggle against the Muslim brothers who are perceived as an antagonistic force for the Gulf monarchies: the Turkish Islamist agenda is very different from that of Saudi Arabia.

As military and political expression of the three countries in Libya there is the gen. Haftar, a secularist leader who, despite having little follow-up by the Libyans and much followed by the three countries mentioned with the support of the mercenaries of the Wagner group (Russians).

Russia has always been on the side of Egypt, but has proposed for the meeting in Moscow for the de-escalation process then confirmed in Berlin, at the push of Turkey, because it is convenient for both countries: conflicts cost and economies of the two countries are not thriving, on the contrary.

Turkey's entry into the Libyan scenario has led Russia to change its strategic plans.

Russia now pursues both the objectives of being involved in the search for energy resources in Libya, and of having a naval support point in Tobruch, to cover the eastern Mediterranean in conjunction with the Tartus naval base in Syria. With these premises, and in the absence of further flashes of geopolitical wisdom, Libya is going to travel the tortuous roads of instability in the next ten, fifteen years, with terrorist infiltrations that will find another theater, closer to Europe, where to recreate known threats.

The Berlin conference comes too late: the scenario today is much more complex than a few years ago and in any case all the meetings held so far for Libya have not produced significant results.

The UN has for years been unable to "foster the peaceful resolution of international disputes, maintain peace and promote respect for human rights".

After further unwillingness to practice foreign policy, the European Union will continue on the already known features of monetary, financial and budgetary policy, with low international relevance.

Italy was not successful for its proposals: neither for the "no fly zone", nor for the blue helmets for the control of the situation on the ground, our initiatives have almost never followed.

Italy will have to prepare even more to cope with the migratory waves: because they could be part of the instruments of pressure from the countries that have the most influence on Libya. Intelligence will have to work even harder to ensure the good levels of security so far registered.

Photo: Presidency of the Council of Ministers / presidency of the republic of Turkey / Kremlin