On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) held a webinar entitled “The Future of Peace in Libya Amid Ongoing Foreign Interventions.” Several prominent academics, researchers, policy-makers, and analysts specializing in Libyan affairs participated in the webinar.
The webinar was moderated by Vice President of Rasanah Dr. Ahmed al-Qarni, and paneled by Yavuz Ajar, a political analyst and the editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper, Major General Hassan al-Jazairi, a strategic expert and former leader of the Saudi Command and Staff College, Dr. Fahad al-Terisi, an associate professor of law at Taif University, as well as Ramzi al-Rumaih, adviser to the Libyan Organization for National Security Studies.
The moderator of the webinar, Dr. al-Qarni, explained that the importance of this webinar stems from the real concerns over the possible division of Libya.
“The webinar discusses two axes: 1) Turkish interference and its implications for the Libyan crisis, and the future of political dialogue amid the crisis,” he pointed out.
Al-Rumaih explained, “Libya has quite literally gone through ten dark years, and the United Nations must maintain security and reform the situation.”
He further stated, “Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on the international community to solve the Libyan crisis and stop the war. Based on these efforts, everyone in Libya experienced peace and security.”
With regard to Turkish intervention in Libya, he stated, “The interference of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under the pretext of the presence of Turkish citizens in Libya is groundless; this will mean that any country can interfere wherever its citizens are.”
Al-Rumaih noted that Erdogan’s interventions affected Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. He disapproved of the UN Security Council’s silence towards Erdogan’s international moves.
Major General Hassan al-Jazairi considered the crisis in Libya as “a crisis of international ambitions, to control its oil and its geographical position.”
He explained that Erdogan’s main goal in interfering in the crisis is an attempt to attack Egypt across its western borders through the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated militias, especially after their failure in Sinai.
In the same vein, Yavuz Ajar believes that Ankara’s interference in the affairs of the Government of National Accord was to achieve certain goals, the most important of which is intellectual solidarity with the government, strengthening the extension of political Islam in North Africa, achieving major economic goals, controlling Libyan oil and gas wealth, and gaining the lion’s share in the process of Libya’s reconstruction.
“Because of his internal problems, Erdogan has changed the network of alliances, a matter that made him depart from the “zero problems” equation he had previously adopted,” he stated.
Dr. Fahad al-Terisi observed that the MoU signed between the Government of National Accord and Ankara has major strategic goals that go beyond the MoU itself.
“There is no clear legal framework for concluding an agreement at this level, especially with the existence of a political division inside Libya,” he added.
Al-Terisi also stated that the Sarraj government has neither international legitimacy nor constitutional legitimacy as a government, as it did not conform to the Libyan Constitution.
The webinar was concluded with the panelists answering questions from the audience. Moreover, the panelists expressed their gratitude to Rasanah for organizing the webinar, and stressed the importance of holding more discussions to enhance dialogue and understanding between different points of view.