An editorial in the London-based Financial Times calls for the international community to end its hypocrisy in Libya. The editors note that the Berlin conference, which took place a week ago, provided for a “moment of cautious optimism”. However, much like after previous attempts to forge peace between the sides, fighting escalated almost instantly exposing the hypocrisy of those foreign powers who continue to interfere in the conflict.
A recent UN statement called out several of those who participated for continuing to provide arms, although it did not refer to any country in particular. The UAE and Egypt continue to break the embargo in favour of Haftar, while Turkey breaks the embargo in favour of Sarraj, including its latest move of deploying advisory troops and Syrian militias.
The Berlin meeting, the paper claims, was “hastily arranged” to prevent further escalation. Turkey’s increased role and US and European concerns about Russia’s entranced pushed these to come back to the Libya table. However, as Haftar’s forces continue fighting and block Libya’s oil infrastructure, there is “barely a murmur” from the international community, including from those who attended the conference.
The authors note that Haftar can be stubborn and ruthless, and continues to believe a military solution is preferable to diplomacy. However he is heavily dependent on his foreign backers, who increasingly seem to be involved for their own gains and to ensure significant influence for the day after. This is not good for the Libyan people. Europe and the US must take responsibility for their role in Libya’s ongoing conflict and immediately work to cease providing arms or fighters fuelling the war.