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JULY 2020

Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO

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Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg launched a new initiative on 8 June

On June 8, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the “NATO 2030” initiative that determines the course of the Alliance’s development for the next decade. The strategy itself has not significantly changed the course of NATO’s development that has already been adopted.

The new strategy “NATO 2030” was presented quite unexpectedly without a traditional advertising company. It is likely that its presentation was planned to take place much later, but the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the brewing contradictions within the Alliance changed the plans of the NATO administration. As a result, one of the central statements of the Secretary-General was to emphasize the need to maintain commitment to the principles of the organization and its unity.

“But NATO must always be the forum for frank discussion and genuine consultation,” he said. “In fact, NATO is the only place that brings Europe and North America together every day: we have the structures and institutions in place. What we need is the political will to use NATO to decide and when necessary to act for our shared security.” 

One of the main destabilizing factors for NATO is Turkey’s independent policy in the Middle East and North Africa. The positions of the NATO member countries differ in their assessment of Turkey’s actions.

Despite numerous disagreements, Turkey remains one of the main US allies in the Middle East. The American unwillingness to lose these partnership relations is evidenced by the withdrawal of the US military from northern Syria in October 2019, which actually gave the green light for the start of Turkish Operation “Peace Spring” against Kurdish formations. The US also lifted sanctions imposed against Turkey in response to its military operation in Syria. Thus, although the cooperation between Turkey and the United States is dysfunctional, it remains cooperation since the role of Turkey is irreplaceable for the United States.

While the US is forced to accept Turkey’s policy, its NATO ally, France, is increasingly critical of Turkey’s policy.

Thus, on June 17, the French Defense Ministry urged NATO to address its “Turkey problem” amid rising tensions over Libya and other issues.

“We have known complicated moments in the alliance, but we can’t be an ostrich and can’t pretend there isn’t a Turkey problem at NATO. We have to see it, say it and handle it,” said a French defense ministry official.

The incident that occurred on the same day in the Mediterranean Sea was a proof of an unprecedented increase in tensions between these countries.  The French Ministry of Armed Forces accused the Turkish Navy of harassing a French warship.

Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO

Turkish Navy frigate Gaziantep escorts drilling vessel Fatih October 30, 2018 © Reuters / Can Sezer

The Franco-Turkish contradictions are quite numerous and are present in various spheres.

The growing number of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe has become a severe challenge for the European Union and especially for France. The migration crisis has forced the EU to step up negotiations with Turkey, which has become a transit point for migrants. However, Turkey and the EU could not reach a final agreement that could completely secure the “European” border from the uncontrolled flow of refugees. In this way, Turkey now is able to influence the EU countries. For example, on February 29, Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the border with the European Union for refugees from Syria. Thousands of refugees have crossed the border with Greece. In early March, the government said that the situation with illegal migrants on the border with Turkey threatens the national security of Greece.

Membership in NATO gives Turkey the opportunity to manipulate the positions of other member countries, since all decisions of the organization are made by consensus. On this basis, a French defense official accused Turkey for dragging its feet over a defense plan for NATO in the Baltic and Poland, known as Eagle Defender.

“Turkey is refusing to accept these plans unless we recognize the PYD/PKK as a terrorist entity,” a French defense official said.

All this causes dissatisfaction among some NATO member countries, and first of all with France, which among other things has its own interests in Libya, where Turkey pursues an active policy. The conflict between the interests of France and Turkey in this region represent a “zero-sum game”.

Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO

IMAGE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2011/03/29/france-u-k-have-differing-motives-for-intervening-in-libya/#7ab69af5ad53

The NATO-led military intervention in Libya in 2011 was initiated by Paris, what was a big political surprise both for supporters and opponents of the intervention. France’s involvement in the region is based on the extensive interests it has historically had in Libya.

First of all, its interests are present in the energy sector. French oil companies are likely to be among those hoping for lucrative oil contracts in Libya. Among them is Total the world’s fourth largest oil and gas company, that was already involved in Libya. Considering Libya’s plentiful and largely unexplored energy reserves, French energy companies could stand to profit from helping rebels take power in Tripoli. Haftar controls important oil fields in southern Libya.

France also has geostrategic interests in Libya. Its southern border is of great importance to France because the former colonies of Chad and Niger are just across. Among other things, Libya is the main hub of the Western Mediterranean migration route. France fears that if Turkey gains influence in Libya it will also increase pressure on the whole of Europe by the migration flows.

Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO

How Turkey uses migration to put pressure on Europe

While conserving an official position of support for “the legitimate government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj”, France is often accused of playing a double game. It ostensibly supports the U.N.-mediated peace process, led by former Lebanese Culture Minister Ghassan Salamé, a veteran Paris-based political scientist. Salamé, in post for two years, has been frustrated by the willingness of European powers including France to covertly back Haftar. Posting his resignation statement on his personal Twitter account, Salamé said he had spent two years trying to reunite the country and curb the influence of outsiders, but that he could no longer continue because of health reasons.

Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO

Salamé posted his his resignation statement on his personal Twitter account

Thus, the interests of France contradict the interests of its NATO partner, Turkey. In the absence of its own energy resources, escalating international relations and the global crisis, Ankara relies on Libya as its potential oil province.

In turn, the interests of France contradict the interests of Italy, whose large oil company Eni was also forced to withdraw their staff from Libya in 2019. Supporting GNA, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, member of the anti-immigrant League party, accused France of cooperating with Haftar. As many refugees use Italy as a transit zone en route to Europe from elsewhere in Africa, Italian officials have a particular interest in Libya’s stability under GNA.

Germany also supports the legitimate government of PM Fayez al-Sarraj. It acts as an intermediary for the application of European partners.

Omid Nouripour, the foreign policy spokesman for the Greens in the Bundestag, said Germany’s government must “spare no effort to persuade the Italians and the French to agree on a common line.” At the same time, he emphasizes that France needs to take into account the importance of finding a balance of interests in order to promote a common European position. The task for Germany in this situation is to convince France to sacrifice its own interests.

This position of Germany is probably provoked by its unwillingness to increase tensions in German-American relations, which are already in a protracted crisis due to the policy of D. Trump. Germany’s top officials on Tuesday voiced concerns about the possible withdrawal of US troops, for possible redeployment to Poland.

“We think that the US presence in Germany is important for the security not just of Germany but also for the security of the United States and especially for the security of Europe,” said Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas.

In this way the Libyan agenda has become a bone of contention for NATO, whose members are not ready to sacrifice their interests in favor of transatlantic solidarity.

In turn, the interests of France are coordinated with the interests of Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Russia on the territory of Libya. They have interests that take precedence over economic ones.

For Egypt, it is an issue of the national security to counter radical Islamic ideology. Therefore, the organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in Libya pose a threat to Egyptian security.

For Russia it is important to ensure the safety of its navigations in the Mediterranean Sea. Probably it may be advantageous for Russia to have a ship maintenance point in Libya, which would be employed as a facility for communication between the Russian Northern and the Black sea regions. Also the sensitive topic for the Russian Federation is the fight against Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism “on distant approaches.” Russia had already received a similar successful experience during its company in Syria.

The UAE seeks the economical strengthening of its elites. In the longer term it benefits the reinforcement of strategic cooperation in the triangle of Egypt-UAE-Russia that can significantly enhance the Emirates in its rivalry with Saudi Arabia in the struggle for leadership on the Arabian Peninsula.

Cooperation between France and the countries mentioned above would not only realize the interests of all parties, but it could also serve as an important step towards the stabilization of the situation in the region.

The existing problems of consolidation within NATO are caused by the reluctance of the main members of the Alliance to follow the agenda imposed by the United States that is not always profitable for them. Based on this, NATO is forced to take measures to strengthen its unity and to enhance coordination of its actions. The most effective method is to create a common external threat. Today, the image of Russia, created by pseudo-liberal Western propaganda, is perfectly suited for the role of a terrible threat. Moreover, Russia continues to pursue an active policy in the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya. It follows that the NATO bureaucracy should benefit from using the contradictions in Libya to strengthen discipline within the Alliance. On the other hand, given the divergent interests of its members, NATO’s efforts may have the opposite result. They can emphasize the lack of coincidence between the key-members’ positions and the NATO strategy beneficial for the US-British allies, or rather, for those who pursue a globalist agenda. In this situation, the leading European countries largely sacrifice their own benefits and serve the interests of the United States. Thus, theoretically, from the point of view of national interests, it is much more profitable for France to support Egypt-UAE-Russia triangle in Libya.

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  • LR captain

    turkey was so weak after downing the Russian jet.
    then after they made peace with them
    they grew 3 time more powerful.

    maybe other countries should move to Russia sphere of influence as well

    • Jens Holm

      None has moved or will like You say or propose.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Sixty 60% of the French President’s time are normally occupied with “the Kurdish Problems”, 40% is for “other problems”
    Endless meeting has been held between the frog-eaters and Kurdistan.
    After Erdogan took over in NE-Syria, the frog-eaters became extremely stressed and depressed..

    The Frog-eaters feel contained and left over to Burkina Faso and Senegal.

    • Concrete Mike

      They were upset because lafarge lost a 15b$ cement plant. That plant qwas selling millions of tonnes of cement to jabhat al nusrah.

      • Tommy Jensen

        The $15b is the annual revenues total for Lafarge.
        Lafarge cooperated with CIA, Turkey on weapon transfers to ISIS while Hitlery Clinton was in the Board. US, Germany, Norway had service members in a military base on the cement factory’s property.
        Notwithstanding above, everybody must understand that civil industry is a vulnerable entity as their job is to make cement not politics.
        So if anybody should be blamed I see only the extremely sick politic on the political lever of Western nations in the Syrian game.

  • M.A. Lamett

    Turkey has one of the longest coastlines in the Med sea and has all the right to defend its national security. Defense of national security starts from the seas and what Turkey claims as it’s own territory is perfectly compatible with international maritime norms and laws. France is far away from the eastern Mediterranean, thus shouldn’t be there in the first place. France still acts like a 18th century colonialist bully. Turkish-Libya Maritime Boundary Treaty changed the dreams of an easy grab for France, Israel and Greece. This is why we see so much fuss. Russia in the meantime tries to take advantage of the situation to have a military base in Libya. I don’t believe that Nato will allow this to happen. Turkey’s gambit politics vis-a-vis eastern Mediterranean is paying off it seems. Recent success in Libya against puppet Haftar unnerved many previous colonialist powers like France and their whipping boy Greece. However it is 21st century and cheap maneuvers of France won’t work any longer. Turkey has a quite strong and disciplined Navy which is ready to defend Turkey’s interests and ready to fight if needed. The French/Greek maritime plan to grab an area of 150 thousand km square was originally developed by some academics in a French university. However it doesn’t fly any longer. Turkish-Libya maritime sea agreement is signed by the internationally recognized government of Libya and stands on a very strong ground in terms of international laws. There is little that France and Greece can do from this point on. I don’t think provoking Egypt against Turkey will fly either. Egypt won’t do the dirty job of imperialist powers nor Israel or Russia for that matter. There is no doubt that the Turks will defend their legitimate rights in the med sea and they have the means to do so. Russia on its part would be wiser to get along with Turkey as Turkey is a valuable neighbor to Russia in terms of Russian Gas transit and distribution. Besides the Russians are well aware that the Bosporus strait is the gateway for Russia to the hot seas. It is in Russia’s own interest to have good relations with Nato member Turkey. Russia also needs to be a good partner with Turkey in Syria and Iraq.

    • mhtsaropinigitakis

      lol you are a big clown and you should stop smoking weed little arrogant
      Turk.

      • Jens Holm

        They learn it like that in school. All others are declined or removed in their history books. Here Erdogan has an important part.

        I dont bame Turks writing here for writing as he do. BUT I certainly blame them for not reading sober versions abouit the area.

        As Osman replacer he also is not better then France having that bigger and bigger Empire, which as trhe French declined to almost nothing.

        More like France in some matters just took the influence from Osmans and made it to their own. The biggest taken company also is not that cement factory by The Emire Turkish Petroleum company.

      • Mustafa Mehmet

        Stupid Greek Shepherds

        • mhtsaropinigitakis

          my little gypsy Turk you dont even know what Kalamaras means and you keep spamming it…Kalamaras comes from the Greek word Kalamari with means pen…Kalammaras is the man of pen witch means an educated man… in Ottoman empire the Greeks were the Kalammarades cause they were educated and with brains they run all the trade…while Turk mean the Aroggant uneducated Farmer..it was an insult to call you Turk in Ottoman empire…so pls stop humiliating yourself and find a new word to call you…you can do it little Gypsy Turk.

          • Mustafa Mehmet

            Kalamara katsarides jelly brain. that’s vhat Greek Cypriot calling you idiot (Fisher girl)

          • mhtsaropinigitakis

            well imagine calling us “Mehmet”…now that will be worst!

      • M.A. Lamett

        If you have some solid arguments, speak up. Or simply STFU. Your level of ignorance and attitude is mind blowing. You are another example, why Greeks are not respected but ridiculed all around the world.

        • mhtsaropinigitakis

          lol so says the guy that posted 0 valid points in a wall of text bigger than a back cover of a book…hahaha what a joke analyst! plz tell us more…”Greece is a joke” he said… Egypt wont intervene he said…he thinks Italy will help Turkey ahahahahaha and he thinks France cant kick Turkeys slow ass without firing a bullet…. thats a nice book

    • Dick Von Dast’Ard

      I agree U.S./Russia are unlikely to commit, but that leaves Turkey with Egypt, UAE, Greece, Italy, France to face off against still.

      • M.A. Lamett

        Italians are coming to Turkish side. Foreign minister of Italy was in Turkey a few days ago. Italians don’t like French meddling in Libya. Turkey will offer probably some candies to Italians. GNA government is the only UN recognized legitimate government. Haftar’s LNA is considered illegal rebel forces. Don’t count much on Egypt too. Egypt has more to gain to be with Turkey. I highly doubt that anyone can dare forcefully shutting Libya off Turkish navy. I don’t believe France’s Macron can take such a risk while “gilet jaunes” are on the streets and while Turkey is in Nato. Greece is a joke. Russia is playing double on both sides it seems. US is busy with election and BLM/Antifa mess. Iran is definitely on Turkish side. Turkey’s position is not bad after all.

        • Dick Von Dast’Ard

          Well the problem as I see it for the Eu is that Turkish dominance within Libya, gives Erdogan huge strategic leverage over the core of Europe, which is why ultimately I believe the Italians would side with the French and Greece.

          • M.A. Lamett

            Agreed. Italy will switch to the side where it sees its own interest. I don’t blame them. You have to realize that almost everyone in the region is salivating for the riches and exploits of the eastern Mediterranean sea. French are there just for having exclusive rights of oil and gas extraction. France is the one who started Libyan war under some false premises and toppled Qaddafi. They made a big error in my opinion. They opened a can of worms. Listen to Qaddafi’s speech at the UN about a year before. He was predicting refugee flooding into EU and was claiming that Libya has to be stable. He was right. But the western imperial powers thought differently. Libya is a gateway to Africa and to resources of billions of dollars. This is why France is in Africa. They have military contingency in Mali, Rwanda and other African nations. French are there not to bring freedom and democracy. French oil company Total needs Mediterranean gas. European oligarchy is salivating for the the resources which is claimed to be in the trillions of dollars. This time around it won’t be easy for the west like it was in the 16-19th centuries. Turkey is also in Somalia, Sudan, Libya and in some other African countries. Turkey is acting out of its national interest. Turkey is no longer the obedient puppet state like it was for many years after 1945. Mediterranean sea, Syria, Iraq and Libya are existential for the state of Turkey. There is no way that Turkey will compromise and step back from these vital interests. I don’t think anyone can deter Turkey militarily. Not even US doesn’t want a confrontation. If anything it could be a color revolution attempt to overthrow Turkish administration and to install a puppet regime instead. The western powers tried a military coup d’etat in Turkey in 2016, but they failed miserably. If it was successful, the situation today would have been very different. France and other EU powers would have been all over the Med sea, Libya, Syria and Iraq like scavengers. Italy will choose in between France and Turkey depending how the events unfold.

    • Jens Holm

      Wellm You make a 1800 century map Yourself and here also forget WW1 and Lausanne in 1923.

      Things also are both ways. Turks here are the attackers and not the defneders, so neighbors has defend their part of the quagmire too.

      Your version of, what France is and is not is far out. The same goes for West.

      I can see how Turks learned total lies about their socalled enemies in school. It a horror lysing version ogf the worst kind. So If You has been educated by the Turkish school system, I do understand You babling about it.

      Why dont You read the many 1000 sober versions about the Region. So much is new constructions and made in the same bad purpose of nationalisme of the wirst kind.

      You also are forvidden to know only 20% of You are Turkish DNA and even that Darwin is a pussy.

      Well Darwin might be wrong. Turks dont listen, so why are thwy and You still born with ears.

      You have the area history for free here. It makes no sense referring to 1800. Turkey not even existed there. Most of Your enemies at that time was Osmans and family of Yours.

      • M.A. Lamett

        Its very difficult for me to understand your writings and reply. Are you using Google translator? You can write in German or French if you like. I can communicate with you in those languages as well.

        • Jens Holm

          Use more then Google and Bing transplate Yourself.

          Your describtion are partly true but very very narrowminded. True Turkey is a partner in this too. Let me remind You that the reasons almost are exacts as the French one, so Turks in those matters are extra or replacer.

          Isnt Turkey about oil as well. Isnt Turkey about refugees and trade in North Africa?

          You see that as a contrast, but facts also are its not only a country thing but a fight among world companies.

          Who helped Your belowed Gadaffy. Well Turks did too and by a Turkish minority in Libya.

          France also is not alone in Africa as representative for world economics and about refugees. We do help each other. Denmark is there too even we only give helikopters and a Herkuless.

          So look at the networks around the world and see so many participate in “their parts”. That includes Russians and Chinese some times acting with us, sometimes neutral and sometimes as a contrast.

          But the REASONS are the same. We all want safe logistics and none soilers whatever they are named Johadists, Pirates or anything like that.

          Actually its about the same as we do with the police all over the world. crime is international and often the same all over the world.

          I have proposed Libya again should be 2 or 3 states and share all Netoo income pr person and children half and money in hand or bank account. Childrens money is for their education.

  • ©igare☘☘e👽Sm⚽️k🚬ng🦉Man️🎲

    There is a very simple solution here.
    Kick the dirty turkISIS baboons out of NATO and let the Greeks annihilate them.
    We Greeks single – handedly destroyed the fagottoman empire in 1821, we were 50 miles from Ankara in 1921 , we ll do it again, no probs.

    Peace of cake.

    • Jens Holm

      Were…

      • ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

        Τhis time who wants to wipe out Turkey he will do it alone. The Greeks will just look. We will not shed our blood for no one “ally”.

        • Jens Holm

          I dont think many will wipe out Turkey. Its much more like Turks has to learn to behabe a little more then others in that area.

          So many has told them for many years and not only about territory and borderlines but a lot of internal things. Those mainly are for all living in Turkey and not Kurds even Kurds has exstra focus.

          I am Danish. When Erdogan blames the Danish Goverment for not controlling the press, we see the level well. The most important leg in democrasy and parlamentarisme is “parle about things” and doing it by fair choises by elections.

          Jailing Moderate Kurds, which got 7 million votes right away is far out. And Jailing after re-election, where they got “only” 5 million votes does it for us.

          And Erdogans are maipulating the rest too. Its not even the latest even, that Ilderim was not elected as Major of Istanbull.

          After Turkey could or would not fulfill the EU treaty I have seen almost everything there move back to old days. As I am now, I only want Turkey as affiliated to Nato as well as we sgould not make more but less affiliation with Turks in trade and production.

          We still see no reasons for their invasions in Syria as well as Iraq too.

          I have no soultions for many things in that region, but they are “certainly not”.

          The only proposed solution for me is uniting the old Aleppo and Raqqa Villayers(Counties and let them be independent Emirates&States. None from there like Turks as well as Assads.

          By that split up people also can chose and emmigrate and be good citicens of the Turkisk, The Aleppo or the Raqqa state.

          And as for Libya, Syria and Iraq all all should be shared and given in hand or bank account to every citicen living there and children half. The main problems are not westerns but high corruption and by that no money for investments.

          Childrens money is for school and later education, so they ALL can raise the very low level.

          Here we meet a lot of emmigrants and its typical for many, that cant even read arabic. So how can people say “It is written”, when they are only told by old men, which also cant read.

          We have tranlated the Holy Choran to a danish version in traditionel style as well as a modern one. We learn all emmigrant danish. By that women actually get there very limited rights instead of hardly none.

          Thats far away from the danish women, where orufemale Premiere minister will put presure on men denying their women and children educations and jobs.

          But thats what Erdogan does too even its worse in fx Syria and Iraq.

          Vomen here contribute about 40% of the GDP. Rhey can go wherever they want with no asking and among men. The crimerates about rape and childabuse seemes much lower too. That crimerate is about raising boys as above all vomen and vomen to be sold to anybody is no Danish Sunni but JAIL RIGHT AWAY.

          When women and children gets abused here THEY get the compensation and NOT THE FAMILY. People living here are their own persons.

          Islam laso say You by Gabriel goes to Allah one by one and pay or get paid after that. Muslims dont die in family groups with vomen in front in the minefield. So Islam actually do respect people are their own persons and had to learn to behave instead og no respondability and CONTROL.

          And that the whole point in the ME. Most peoplemlearn to obey any silly flag and refelct with defatisme. Thats why so many are like chickens with no head or seemes as bright as sheep.

          So raising is the difference. Education about possibilities and needed well decided changes are.

          Turks has become strong by theor partly sekularisme, but making Erdogan into a decider is bad, when You give that power to some people. I France seemes Makron to be in some trouble. TRump in the same kind of system is worse then far Out.

          So a good restart for Turkey is to share and respect power and responsabilty among each other. Argumentations should do the main things and not pictures like Erdogan met with fear and bajonets and jail and …

          I dont mention others much. But its exact same thing for the Countries around Turkey. The Govermenets spread too much dark and make people into dependent non deciders. Here we say 2 persons always are more clever then one and very often – Yiou have to scratsh my back because You need to be scratched by me. And both feel better and are included in trust.

          • ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

            ” As I am now, I only want Turkey as affiliated to Nato”

            Do you think that NATO will continue to exist?

          • ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

            ” Yiou have to scratsh my back because You need to be scratched by me. And both feel better and are included in trust.”

            So you prefer a Mediterranean Union;;;

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      Re kalamara. Katsarides drink to much ouzo agein

  • SnowCatzor

    NATO will soon go the way of the EU, all the same dysfunctional signs are there. Either European nations will finally tire of NATOs tolerance of Turkish militarism and form their own defense block, or they’ll succeed in getting Turkey removed from NATO.

  • lovethemapples

    Well considering that Turkey is the only NATO country next to middle east, there have more at stake in the situation there hence their interest and security is being prioritized despite French and Greek opinion.

  • Dick Von Dast’Ard

    TDM – Wagner – Egyptian Airborne Corps operation to secure Misrata would be just the ticket here.