September 19, 2021

Emmanuel Macron wants the end of foreign interference in Libya

The chronology is eloquent. It took two and a half months for the new Libyan Prime Minister, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, the new face of a reconciled Libya, to visit Rome and Paris, capitals of the two European countries traditionally most involved in mediation in Libya. . In the wake of his inauguration, on March 10, by a Parliament reunited after more than six years of civil war, Mr. Dbeibah gave priority to his trips abroad to Egypt, the Gulf countries, the Turkey and Russia.

By receiving him in Paris, Tuesday 1is June, Emmanuel Macron solemnly affirmed the« engagement » from France to “Support” the ongoing reconciliation in Libya. The gap in time between the two visit trains, however, starkly underlines the relative erasure of Europe on the Libyan theater, in view of the now de facto grip exerted by Turkey and Russia, the two new guardians of the country.

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For now, this shift in the geopolitical cursor is somewhat overshadowed by the improvement in the business climate. The end of the fighting and the establishment of the Government of National Accord (GAN), where the forces of Tripolitania (West) and Cyrenaica (East), which have been fighting each other since 2014, are found, allowed a rebound in oil production. to nearly 1.3 million barrels per day (compared to 1.6 million before 2011). International investors are once again flocking to the Libyan reconstruction site.

Mr. Dbeibah, accompanied by a large ministerial delegation, was also to meet Wednesday, in Paris, the French bosses of Medef to talk about contracts. The new prime minister, who under the former regime of Muammar Gaddafi headed a state-owned company, the Libyan Investment and Development Company (Lidco), and was then the representative in Libya of many Turkish companies, is himself very familiar with the backstage of the business world. “He is first in the transaction”, comments an observer of the Libyan scene.

“Country division”

Will such a profile be enough to overcome the pitfalls that continue to jeopardize a stabilization of the still fragile foundations? A conference on peace in Libya, under the auspices of the United Nations, invited to Berlin on June 23 – eighteen months after a first edition in January 2020 -, should be an opportunity to discuss a number of topics in pain. The most acute of these is the departure of foreign forces from Libyan soil, a demand repeatedly reiterated by Westerners, but which for the time being comes up against the security influence exerted by Russia (in Cyrenaica) and Turkey ( in Tripolitania).

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