Terror should not be permitted in Libya

Published 01.07.2019 22:42
Updated 02.07.2019 00:10

The world, especially the European Union, is not well informed about the recent developments in Libya. What has been happening recently in Libya is only in the media as news regarding migrants. However, Libya is in a very important actor for the European continent – and not only for energy needs.

For the security of Mediterranean and southern Europe, it also carries critical importance. Stability in Libya is very important. Libya should not be allowed to surrender to terror. Currently, in Libya, there is a government that is recognized by the United Nations.

Although the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya is recognized by the United Nations, certain countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), support the rebels calling themselves the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by an old general named Khalifa Haftar, who caused a civil war by declaring that he did not recognize the GNA of Libya, elected in 2014.

However as I stated above, the GNA based in Tripoli is recognized and supported by the European Union and international institutions, including the United Nations. Turkey also supports the Libyan government recognized at an international level. The Daesh terrorist organization, which organized in Libya and claimed certain territories by exploiting the civil war, was annihilated by the military forces of the Government of National Accord with strong support from Turkey.

In short, a Daesh threat close to southern Europe was destroyed by these means. However, the threat of terror is not over.

Haftar, who was born in 1943, is one of the most important actors of the five-year crisis and cooperation with terrorists in petroleum-rich Libya.

Moreover, Haftar, who was educated in the old Soviet Union and joined the army led by Moammar Gadhafi and played a role in overthrowing King Idris in 1969, also acted as chief of staff in Libya. Haftar, who went to war in 1986 in command of the separatists in Libya's neighboring state Chad, was held captive with his soldiers in 1987. He remained in prison for many years and was then exiled to the U.S., returning to his country in 2011 when the Gadhafi opposition rebellions began. Haftar, who hopes to become a dictator like Gadhafi, has held a large sector that contains important petroleum ports and Tobruk in the east of the country since 2014. He has resorted to cooperating with terrorists since he has been unable to successfully fight the war to capture Libya in its entirety alone. The Libyan GNA has been successful against Haftar's soldiers.

The war against Haftar is also a war against terrorist organizations.

As the GNA wages war against terror, unfortunately, France, which is a NATO and EU member, continues to support Haftar, who is cooperating with terrorists.

It is a very calamitous situation for the EU to have France supporting Haftar, who is also supported by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and to a certain extent by Russia.

The support of France, who has lost many victims to terror, for rebels cooperating with terrorists for the sake of Libyan gas is counterproductive for the war against terror. Haftar is disgruntled with the support Turkey offers the legitimate government recognized by the U.N. and the EU and its war against terror. For this reason, Haftar has declared war against NATO member Turkey.

Turkey has naturally responded severely againsr the rebels who captured six Turkish citizens working in Libya as well.

In the declaration made by Turkey, the rebels were warned with the following message, "The kidnapping of six of our citizens by illegal militia forces affiliated with Haftar is an act of piracy and banditry. We expect our citizens to be released immediately; otherwise, Haftar components will become legitimate targets."

These latest developments demonstrate that Haftar and terrorist organizations cooperating with him in close proximity with Europe and EU member states are not only major threats for the Mediterranean region and southern Europe but also for the war against terror in general.

The EU must immediately warn France and stop it from supporting terrorist elements in Libya opposing the EU's interests.

France is again chasing the wrong adventures.

Stability in Libya is of crucial importance for the fight against terror, preventing energy sources from falling into the wrong hands and preventing new migration waves from occurring. The EU has to be more active and take a stand in this matter.

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