Ahmed Omar Maiteeq of Libya warns Donald Trump of Khalifa Haftar

Ahmed Omar Maiteeq of Libya warns Donald Trump of Khalifa Haftar

A high chief from Libya’s internationally acknowledged authorities says the Trump administration ought to be doing extra to exert American energy & diplomatic affect towards ending his nation’s brutal & destabilizing civil battle.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Omar Maiteeq informed The Washington Instances that solely the U.S. has the ability to strain the oil-rich African nation’s warring factions & their divided international backers — together with Qatar, Saudi Arabia & Egypt — to the bargaining desk.

Mr. Maiteeq lamented throughout a wide-ranging interview Tuesday that the Trump administration has as an alternative gave the impression to be tilting towards insurgent chief Khalifa Haftar, a former Libyan military colonel vith alleged CIA ties. Mr. Haftar controls a lot of the jap half of the nation & launched an offensive this 12 months towards the U.N.-backed authorities in Tripoli, claiming the federal government has ties to jihadi teams.

U.S. & Western analysts warn that if Libya collapses right into a failed state, it might once more present a haven for the Islamic State & different terrorist teams & exacerbate the crush of migrants who traverse the nation on their path to Europe.

“I think President Trump may have gotten the wrong message from allies or advisers about Haftar,” stated Mr. Maiteeq. “It’s our authorities in Tripoli, not Haftar, that’s the predominant ally of the U.S. as a drive to struggle terrorism in Libya & North Africa.

“What we need right now is leadership from the U.S. to show that political solution is the only solution in Libya,” he added.

Mr. Maiteeq made the feedback amid contemporary violence in Libya. The Related Press reported that preventing round Tripoli resumed Monday ( 💡 Visit our shop –Ed.) night time after a quick truce through the Muslim vacation of Eid al-Adha. A two-day cease-fire proposed by the United Nations was the primary since Mr. Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan Nationwide Military militias launched an offensive in April to overthrow the Authorities of Nationwide Accord, which controls Tripoli.

The Trump administration has resisted efforts to be drawn straight into the fights by providing rhetorical assist for each the federal government in Tripoli & Mr. Haftar’s insurgent military.

However the administration has proven indicators that it might be contemplating a forceful line to finish the preventing. In mid-July, U.S. officers signed a little-reported joint assertion vith France, Britain, Egypt, Italy & the United Arab Emirates backing a direct cease-fire.

The assertion, which stated “there can be no military solution in Libya” & warned of terrorist teams exploiting the political void, was issued simply months after President Trump unexpectedly reached out to Mr. Haftar in a cellphone name from the Oval Workplace to reward the army chief as a key drive towards terrorism.

A U.S. official who spoke on the situation of anonymity extra lately stated the administration does again a cease-fire however believes Mr. Haftar have to be a part of Libya’s future.

An enigmatic determine, the 75-year-old former colonel was as soon as near Moammar Gadhafi & performed a key position within the coup that introduced the Libyan dictator to energy in 1969. After a falling-out vith Mr. Gadhafi, he moved to the U.S. & was the topic of unconfirmed media stories that he cultivated ties vith the CIA.


Mr. Maiteeq prompt that Washington has been duped into backing Mr. Haftar & that Mr. Trump’s public assist solely emboldened the insurgent chief.

“Since the phone call [with Mr. Trump], Haftar promised that he would take Tripoli in two days,” he stated. “But we can see now, five months later, that Haftar cannot move 1 kilometer in advance.”

Mr. Maiteeq additionally claimed it was forces loyal to the Authorities of Nationwide Accord, not Mr. Haftar, that drove the Islamic State from its Libyan stronghold of Sirte in 2016.

He stated makes an attempt by GNA Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj to attract Mr. Haftar into peace negotiations have gone nowhere. “We’ve tried to sit down with Haftar many times,” he stated. “The issue is that he doesn’t appear to know that the nation can’t have peace with out reconciliation between all Libyans.

“The main people around Haftar are the same people who were once with Gadhafi,” Mr. Maiteeq stated. “They don’t want to see change or democracy in Libya.”

Including to the murkiness surrounding U.S. coverage towards Libya is the truth that the warring factions have signed on vith highly effective American lobbyists, a few of whom work for Mr. Haftar.

Justice Division international agent registration information present Mr. Haftar & his Libyan Nationwide Military are paying some $2 million to the Texas-based agency Linden Authorities Options. The information say Mr. Haftar “is dedicated to stabilizing Libya, eradicating [the Islamic State] and al Qaeda, and ensuring free and fair elections.”

However Mr. Maiteeq stated within the interview that Mr. Haftar is definitely making an attempt to determine a army dictatorship. “He does not have a plan for battling terrorism; he just wants to rule the country,” Mr. Maiteeq stated. “He’s just a military man who believes in escalations without a future strategy.”

The 46-year-old former businessman, who was named deputy prime minister in 2016, stated Mr. Haftar’s forces have sown confusion & chaos by attacking hospitals, faculties, the airport & refugee facilities in Tripoli in an try to undermine the Authorities of Nationwide Accord.

Geopolitical mess

The Libyan disaster might have main implications for world oil markets. The nation has a number of the world’s greatest confirmed reserves, however manufacturing has plummeted since Gadhafi was ousted & killed in 2011. Exterior powers have been looking for pals & affect inside Libya ever since.

Egypt, the UAE & Saudi Arabia again Mr. Haftar, whereas different powers, led by Turkey & Qatar, are backing the Authorities of Nationwide Accord. One dividing line is the relative tolerance of the GNA for Islamist political actions such because the regional Muslim Brotherhood motion. The U.S. official who spoke anonymously vith The Instances stated Turkey & Qatar are “much more pro-Muslim Brotherhood and hence more closely aligned” vith the Authorities of Nationwide Accord.

A supply exterior the U.S. authorities however intently affiliated vith Libyan political factions stated the Muslim Brotherhood issue has performed into the way in which key U.S. officers, together with Mr. Trump & Nationwide Safety Adviser John R. Bolton, view the state of affairs.

“There’s a disconnect between the way President Trump and Ambassador Bolton are looking at this and the way others, including Obama-era people at the State Department, are seeing this,” stated the supply. The Trump-Bolton view, the supply stated, is that the Tripoli authorities was successfully put into place by the earlier administration.

The concept, the supply stated, is that Mr. al-Sarraj & his authorities are akin to Egypt beneath Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood-backed candidate who took the presidency within the wake of the Arab Spring. Mr. Haftar, on this studying, is akin to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted Mr. Morsi in a army coup in 2013, labeled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group & subsequently cast a powerful safety relationship vith Washington.

“That’s how Trump sees it in Libya,” the supply stated.

Mr. Maiteeq flatly disagreed vith the characterization.

“We are not a government of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he stated vith fun. “Everybody knows that. The group of people keeping the government together does not belong to that at all. It’s very obvious. You can blame us for something else, but not that.”

Moreover, he stated, the U.S. has shut alliances vith international locations on all sides within the Libyan disaster, together with Qatar, Turkey, the UAE & Egypt. That, he added, is why the Trump administration has uncommon clout in pushing for a political resolution.

“The people that are helping Haftar and the people that are working closely with us are all U.S. allies,” he stated. “The U.S. should have the ability to put pressure on all of these countries and in order to contain Haftar and make peace talks happen.”

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