Growing diplomatic activity indicates that something is about to change in Libya
On July 21st, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry. A note from the Kremlin reveals that the two ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the Libyan crisis. Both sides confirmed that the only way to reach a peace agreement in that country is through negotiations between all Libyan parties in line with the Berlin Conference decisions approved by UN Security Council resolution 2510.
The note affirms they also stressed the importance of the Cairo Declaration of June, 6th for the promotion of the key principles of the Berlin process to organize an inclusive Libyan dialogue to elaborate agreements on the post-war order in Libya, based on the balance of interests of its three historical regions: Tripolitania, Barqa and Fezzan. According to a White House statement, the U.S. President Donald Trump and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, also discussed regional security issues including the situation in Libya and the importance of removing mercenaries and foreign forces during a phone call on Tuesday.
The Crown Prince, leader of the United Arab Emirates, together with Egypt, France, Russia and Saudi Arabia support the commander of eastern Libya Khalifa Haftar against the criminal and terrorist militias of the Tripoli Government (GNA), supported by Turkey, Qatar and other countries close to radical Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood.The growing diplomatic activity seems to want avoid a military escalation in the city of Sirte after Turkish officers, supporting the Tripoli-based Government, said they were ready to destroy the Egyptian army as the Parliament of the Cairo approved a possible intervention in neighbouring Libya. The decision has been motivated by Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as a national security issue.
In the last 48 hours, Turkey has deployed new vehicles and men to Libya. On Tuesday, a Turkish military transport plane type Lockheed C-130 Hercules has landed in al-Watiya airbase, in the Western region. Local sources previously reported that Ankara deployed several T-122 Sakara MLRS launchers and T-155 Firtina self-propelled howitzer to the Western axis of Sirte city in preparation for a long-awaited battle.
All of this occurs a few days after the U.S. State Department published a report indicating that Turkey sent between 3,500 and 4,000 Syrian mercenaries to Libya in the first three months of 2020. This series of phone calls between diplomats and heads of state could indicate that something is about to change in Libya if the start of a confrontation between Turkey and Egypt does not seem imminent, Turkey could be forced by Donald Trump to change his plans.