Libya : Fayez al-Serraj against EU mission IRINI to not lost Turkish daily support
The Tripoli based Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) asked in a letter addressed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and to the European Union to stop the EUNAVFORMED IRINI Mission, launched by EU earlier in April. The joint military mission that replace the previous EUNAVFORMED SOFIA has the aim to monitor the violations of arms embargo to Libya, as largely recommended by the United Nations. The Prime Minister of GNA’s presidential Council, Fayez al-Serraj, expressed reserves on the Mission from its announcement, worried of losing the armaments support he receives daily from Turkey.
Al-Serraj publicly accused EU, affirming in his letter that IRINI operation neglects the monitoring of Libya’s eastern air and land borders, from where the flow of weapons and equipment comes in support of the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who instead welcomed the initiative. “We inform you of the GNA’s objection to the European Union’s plan to monitor the arms embargo”. Al-Serraj said, regretting the European determination to stop Ankara’s support for his armed militias.
“We expected European neighboring countries to implement the 1970 Security Council Resolution (2011) about the ban on weapons supplies to Libya” says Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj
Indicating surprise that European countries make no distinction between aggressor and victim, siding with Haftar described as the aggressor against his legitimate government. For Serraj EU isignoring to monitor land and air borders, described as the main sources of provision for the LNA used by its foreign supporters. The letter of Libyan Prime Minister arrives when international observers and the UN Security Council have expressed doubts about the IRINI’s ability to conduct inspections at sea, as well as the concrete possibility of monitoring the flow of weapons to Libya, already widely documented by experts in their annual reports on which Member States continue to turn a blind eye. It must be said that during the past years, starting from 2014, huge amounts of war material destined to terrorist groups have been reported arrived in Libya from Turkey, including explosive material for the construction of home-made grenades.
The EU announced the launch of the IRINI operation on April 1st, even before the military set-up made available to European states was outlined. Russia and many other countries have also expressed doubts about the helpfulness of the IRINI mission since NATO’s Turkish warships have been stationed regularly on the Libyan coast since January, daily transporting military vehicles and equipment, but also thousands of troops , including foreign fighters and Syrian rebels, as recently denounced by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview with the newspaper Le Monde.It is clear that the GNA represented by Fayez al Serraj has taken this anti-European position because it does not want to lose Turkish support. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent thousands of mercenaries and anti-air defense systems to Libya, which allowed militias and terrorists to survive the military operations conducted by the LNA.