Moscow gives chance for peace in Libya

The recent aggravation of the Libyan problem has shown the great role of Russia and Turkey in the settlement of the Libyan conflict, RISS expert Maria Makhmutova believes. "The results of the diplomatic efforts of the EU countries, including Paris, Rome, and Berlin, were extremely weak compared to what Ankara and Moscow were able to do," she said.

Earlier Paris demanded that Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and Faiz Saraj, head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), implement the agreement on the formation of a national unity government, which they signed in the Elysee Palace. Later, in 2018, Rome tried to take the initiative and gather the opposing sides in Palermo. However, these efforts did not bring any result. Moreover, after the LNA launched an operation to capture Tripoli in April 2019, Berlin tried to carry on peace negotiations. However, Germany was focused on holding talks only with external actors instead of internal participants. Russia was also invited to the talks. During those talks the negotiators agreed that the Libyan problem threatened the EU due to the migration issue.

The U.S. has pulled back from the peace process because President Trump and Congress members have different views on the solution of the problem. Trump supports Haftar, and Congressmen support Saraj. All diplomatic efforts were unsuccessful, RISS expert underscored. Nevertheless, Moscow managed to bring two opposing sides to the negotiating table. Rome tried to take initiative from Russia, but failed.

RISS expert drew attention to the fact that Moscow was extremely diplomatic in resolving the conflict. GNA has been invited to Russia many times, and Haftar repeatedly visited the Russian capital and met with representatives of the Ministry of Defense.

As for the economic component, Makhmutova recalled that "Turkey does not want to lose a key ally in North Africa. In Lybia, Turkey has frozen about $30 billion. It is also extremely important for Russia to stabilize the situation in Libya, as the Russian company „Tatneft“ entered Libyan oil market. Libya is a very prospecting market for energy exploration and production. In addition, the settlement of the Libyan conflict will improve the image of Russia in the world. Most likely, the peaceful talks between Haftar and Saraji in Moscow will help further settlement of the conflict," RISS expert concluded.

Libya Turkey