Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Libya’s Sarraj becoming source of concern for Europe

The international community continues to step up efforts to revive the peace process in Libya, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. One of the events on resolving the Libyan crisis occurred on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 16.

Taking part in it were delegates from the countries that were represented at the Berlin forum. However, neither representatives of the interim government backed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libya National Army nor delegates from the Government of National Accord under Fayez al-Sarraj were present at the meeting.

The participants agreed to set up the International Committee on Libya brokered by the UN, which will hold regular meetings to promote the decisions of the Berlin conference. Strange as it may seem, there are no delegates from Saudi Arabia among its members.

It is not improbable that this is due to difficult relations between Ankara and Riyadh, the paper quotes Alexander Frolov, a leading research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying. The expert noted that Turkey could use all the leverage it had, including blackmail, in order to prevent the presence of influential Saudis. He recalled that Riyadh greenlighted the Arab militia, which is expected to operate in northeastern Syria to contain Iran on the one hand and Turkey on the other.

Meanwhile, there is a growing understanding in the West that the 2015 agreements, recognizing the Sarraj government, which holds neither confidence nor prominence among the Libyans, turned out to be a mistake. According to Mustafa al-Fitouri, a US scholar of Libyan origin, the Sarraj-led government first turned into a hostage of Libyan Islamists and then into Erdogan’s obedient and blind tool, who is elbowing the Europeans out of the giant gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.