Hours before the Berlin conference on Libya kicks off, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to blackmail Europe again, this time around Libya.
Erdogan wrote in an article in the magazine “Politico” warning Europe that if the Al-Wefaq government, led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, fell in Tripoli, terrorist organizations would find a foothold in Europe, and he claimed that the road to peace in Libya runs through Turkey.
“Europe is less interested in providing military support to Libya, so the obvious choice is to work with Turkey, which has already pledged military assistance,” Erdogan wrote.
“We will train and help the Libyan security forces to fight terrorism, human trafficking and other matters that pose a serious threat to international security,” he added.
The Turkish president pointed out: “We should not forget that Europe will face new problems and threats if the Al-Sarraj government is toppled,” adding that “the European Union must show the world that it is an important player in the international arena.
Turkey supports the Saraj government in Tripoli, and has announced the dispatch of troops and advisers to Libya, in clear violation of the Security Council’s decision to ban the arming of both warring parties. Field reports also revealed that hundreds of pro-Turkish fighters in Syria have been sent to Libya to support militias fighting for Al-Saraj government.
The Libyan National Army forces recently achieved many field successes, against armed militias supporting Al-Sarraj. It also took control of the strategic city of Sirte, which strengthens its efforts to control Tripoli and liberate it from Al-Saraj militias.
Tomorrow morning, Berlin will host the conference which is held under the auspices of the United Nations, to explore ways to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis. As scheduled, it will be attended by both warring parties, Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, Commander of the Libyan National Army, as well as Al-Sarraj, alongside the leaders of Egypt, Russia, France, the Emirates, Algeria, other countries and Turkey.
According to diplomats, during the summit, Germany and the United Nations will try to push for the establishment of a ceasefire agreement and a monitoring mechanism as first steps towards peace.
Hours before the start of the conference, Ghassan Salama, the international envoy to Libya, said that Libya needs to “stop” all foreign interventions in its affairs.
On the other hand, eastern Libya’s ports have stopped exports of crude oil, while the country has cut production by more than half.
“It is the Libyan people who closed the oil ports and fields and prevented its exports,” said Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the national army.
Libyan oil production was estimated at 1.3 million barrels per day before the ports were closed. Earlier, tribal elders accused Al-Sarraj government of using oil revenues to pay wages to foreign fighters, in reference to Turkey’s fighters in western Libya.
In Washington, media sources said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will present three main points to resolve the Libyan crisis, namely the continuation of the cease-fire in Libya, the withdrawal of all foreign powers, and the return to the political process led by Libya and supervised by the United Nations.