UAE calls for Libya cease-fire, return to political process

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said Libyans will not have the chance to create a stable or prosperous country until combatants aim higher than tactical territorial gains. (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 May 2020

UAE calls for Libya cease-fire, return to political process

  • Gargash said the UAE’s position on the Libyan crisis has been firm and clear

DUBAI: The only acceptable path forward in the Libya conflict involves “an immediate, comprehensive cease-fire and a return to the political process,” a senior Emirati minister said on Tuesday.
“The UAE’s position on the Libyan crisis has been firm and clear and shared by the majority of the international community,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

“The only acceptable path forward involves an immediate, comprehensive cease-fire and return to the political process.”
Libya has been in turmoil since a civil war toppled and later killed Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

The is split between rival administrations in the east and the west.
Gargash added: “Libyans will not have the chance to create a stable or prosperous country until combatants aim higher than tactical territorial gains.”


‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

Updated 31 May 2020

‘Provocative’ Erdogan to drill for oil off Libya

  • Turkey claims an agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to create a “fait accompli” over rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean by drilling off the coast of Libya, analysts told Arab News on Saturday.

Ankara’s announcement that it intends to activate last year’s maritime borders agreement with the Libyan government in Tripoli has brought simmering tensions to the boil.   

Turkey claims the agreement gives it the right to explore for oil and gas in an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between its southern coast and Libya’s northeastern coast. However, Greece, Cyprus and the EU say the deal is illegal. Turkey may also face EU sanctions over drilling in Cypriot territorial waters.

Ankara has not said exactly where it will drill, but experts told Arab News they expect exploration activities to begin off Tripoli in the short term, and then near to the coastal city of Sirte.

“From a tactical point of view, Turkey may test the scenario of a crisis with Athens where escalation takes place and then, in the context of de-escalation, the two countries would have to discuss and negotiate their positions,” said Zenonas Tziarras, a researcher at PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Mona Sukkarieh, a political risk consultant and co-founder of Middle East Strategic Perspectives, said: “If we take Turkish operations off the Cypriot coast as an indicator, operations off the Libyan coast might start off on the less provocative part of the spectrum and grow bolder with time toward the more provocative part of the spectrum.

“The objective is to demonstrate a resolute determination in order to extract concessions or, at the very least, to impose itself as a player to reckon with.”