Libya: Despite scepticism, the oil agreement convinces the International community
Russia is satisfied, Turkey agrees, the United States approves with reservations, the United Nations is silent. These are the reactions of the main international actors involved in the Libyan dossier regarding the agreement reached last week between the number two of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Maetig, and General Khalifa Haftar on the restart of oil production and export.
A deal that at first seemed undermined by technical imperfections but above all by a certain internal scepticism. Also, because Maetig would have acted without informing Fayez al-Serraj, the coup instead had a positive follow-up.
First of all, with the alignment of the National Oil Corporation (NOC). The Tripoli authority, which manages the proceeds of crude oil, revoked the force majeure from Zueitina in eastern Libya (70,000 barrels per day), Hariga (110,000 barrels per day), and Brega (60,000 barrels per day). The terminals have resumed pumping crude for export. And secondly, he received the tacit approval of Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj, who already announced his resignation at the end of the month to coincide with the formation of a new government. Hypothesis that of the new executive, which at the moment still appears far away.
The agreement whose architect for Cyrenaica was MrajaGaith, deputy finance minister of the “parallel” government of the East, not only managed to temporarily end a nine-month blockade on Libyan oil plants but also faced a series of economic problems. Issues that have been the cause of protests across the country, including foreign exchange currency, public debt, distribution of wealth to budget management, explain some members of the UN-led Libyan Economic Dialogue Forum, who welcomed the agreement. There remain internal oppositions of both merit and form, the daughters of contrasts that also concern the political dynamics of Tripoli. But it couldn’t be otherwise.
Internationally, Russia has publicly welcomed the agreement. “It is a starting point for a path that could be extended to the political dimension,” explained the ambassador of Moscow to the UN VasilyNebenzya, during the inaugural press conference of the month of the Russian presidency of the Security Council. Countries such as France, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt support it in principle, but have yet to explain it publicly, finding to deal with a node very similar to that of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Tunis did not comment, and the fact that the interim mission led by Stephanie Williams, who has always overseen the negotiations on the reopening of the Oil Crescent, has been cut off, certainly angered more people at the UN. Where for the rest, negotiations have been underway for almost seven months to find the replacement for Ghassan Salamé, now identified in the experienced Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov who would have agreed a little on everyone, including the United States.
Washington, for its part, welcomed the agreement with some positivity, although it maintains some reservations. “Restarting oil production domestically in a way that respects Libyan sovereignty is vital for Libya’s current and future economic stability,” explained Foggy Bottom of the state department. All responsible parties must reject attempts to militarize and politicize the energy sector, divide Libyan economic institutions, and subdue critical infrastructure to foreign interests.
The indication refers, it is assumed, both to the dynamics underway in Tripoli, where some prominent exponents have rejected the agreement to the same general who used the closure of the wells, decided on the eve of the Berlin conference on January 19, as a negotiating lever. And for the presence of the Russian Wagner mercenaries in charge of the wells.