Political Observation - Al-Sisi Declaration

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Al-Sisi Declaration

1 –Cairo meeting’s Objective Between al-Sisi, Haftar and Aquila Saleh

The persistence of America, Europe and Russia on implementing a ceasefire and effectuating the political solution denotes their intention to prevent the infighting from spreading to eastern Libya. This is why the aim of the Cairo agreement between the collaborators Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Khalifah Haftar and Aquila Saleh was to send a message to the people of Libya in the western region warning them against allowing Operation Peace Storm led by the government of national accord (GNA) extend beyond the city of Sirte. Al-Sisi said “no side will be allowed to achieve a military settlement”, referring to the GNA. This is why several unknown jetfighters raided the positions of the GNA forces around the city of Sirte soon after the Cairo meeting and the issuing of the communiqué. Hence, America turned Egypt into a safety valve and a defence line for eastern Libya in order to halt the advance of the forces of Tripoli and Misrata, forcing them to stop at Sirte. This would enable the oilfields to remain under the control of the east and to be used as a bargaining chip to compel the west to accept the political solution stipulated by the Berlin Conference. This economic pressure is conducted with the collusion of al-Sarraj who was eager to meet the US ambassador to Ankara, David Satterfield, whenever he visited Turkey, who for his part stressed the need to implement the stipulations of the Berlin Conference. 

Hence, political manoeuvres by the forces dominating the east, al-Sarraj and the US are set to increase in order to sidestep the military successes achieved by the GNA. This is expected to freeze the status quo for some time in order to tame the people of western Libya and strengthen the eastern front whose popular base, it is feared, may crumble due to human losses, and in order to assess the outcome and determine whether discarding Haftar and changing faces would be inevitable or if the people of the west would acquiesce to integrating him into a new government. 

It seems that stakes of the Cairo Agreement were deliberately set high so that they may be rejected, thus making the move forward based on the mutually agreed points in the Berlin Conference’s recommendations. As for the insistence of the political powers of the GNA and the presidential council on removing Khalifah Haftar, it is aimed at gaining sympathy and popular support for the GNA. Discarding Haftar to break a potential deadlock cannot be ruled out if the despondence and taming failed to conjure up an agreement, in order to enable the GNA to execute the Berlin Conference’s recommendations under international auspices, which may require the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces whose function on the surface will be to separate the warring factions and averting bloodshed but in reality, their mission will be to maintain the status quo on the ground, thus ensuring that the oilfields remain beyond the reach of the GNA and that the fighting factions remain shackled. 

In this context, Russia is endeavouring to maintain a foothold in eastern Libya and act as a deterrent against the GNA fighters who have the upper hand due to Turkey’s backing, and to confine Turkey’s role to this aspect knowing that America would welcome such an endeavour as she is investing in the issues of disagreement between Turkey and Russia in order to lure Erdoğan back to the stable of obedience. 

14 Shawwal 1441 Hizb ut-Tahrir Publications
8 June 2020