White House foreign policy official drew Libya partition plan on napkin

Published 10.04.2017 15:26
Updated 10.04.2017 15:27

A White House senior foreign policy official has proposed a plan to partition Libya. Sebastian Gorka, a former Breitbart editor, is also known for his connections to Hungarian far-right groups, is now vying for the job of presidential special envoy to Libya.

According to a European diplomat, Gorka drew up a map of Libya on a napkin, dividing the north African country into three sections. The plan seems to be based upon old Ottoman frontiers, and delimitates the provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two rival governments have competed for power in Libya. The Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli, had been backed by the UN and the former Obama administration.

The government based in in Eastern Libya's Tobruk is led by former Gaddafi general Khalifa Haftar, who turned against Gaddafi and now advocates for a strong line of action against Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Haftar has received some support from the Egyptian and Russian governments and may seem attractive to portions of the Trump team because of his anti-Islamist stance. Gorka considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group and fears that it might infiltrate the US.

Foreign diplomats were alarmed over Gorka's views on the future of Libya. A Libya expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Mattia Tolando, said "This is like a litmus test of how much you know about Libya. If you the only thing you know is that it was cut into three, then it shows you are clueless about the situation in Libya."

Gorka is also associated with Steve Bannon, who is losing favor as Trump's chief strategist. Ari Ben Menashe, an Israeli security consultant whose company is active in the region, told the Guardian that he does not think a partition will take place.

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