The destabilization of Eastern Mediterranean: what means Erdogan’s support of Sarraj in the geopolitical optics?

by Antigoni Theodorou

The Lybian conflict is in the deep phase of the new escalation: the ties between Turkey and Sarraj’s government strongly strengthenedin 2019. The memorandum of understanding, signed on 27 November (the agreement, which activated an open military cooperation of Erdogan and Sarraj) as well as agreement which established new maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean (which breaks the existent Greece-Egypt-Israel arrangements) changes the balance of power in the region.

Mitsotakisdeclared that Athens also wishes to take part in the United Nations-sponsored talks on Libyascheduled to take place in the German capital Berlin in January.”We do not want a source of instability in our neighborhood,”-Mitsotakis said.”We want to be part of the solution in Libya, as it concerns us too … [Libya] is our natural maritime neighbor, not Turkey,” he declared.

The agreement, which activated an open military cooperation of Erdogan and Sarraj, led to the following: On 2nd of January Turkish parliament approves sending troops to Libya. Taking into consideration the instability in Iraq, recent protests in the shia crescent (Lebanon, Iran, Iraq), the appearance of a new map point, where the scenario of the peaceful resolution of the conflict seem to fail, creates a big threat to the stability in the region. Lybia becomes a bridgehead for the fight of interest of Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, France and Russia. All the forces already successfully used their proxies for the achievement of the spread of their influence in the region, which gives a key for the wealth of oil-richLybia.

Who is Mr. Sarraj?

The memorandums, signed by GNA – Sarraj and Erdogan, as the Greek diplomatic sources ‘violates international maritime law’. “The content of the memorandum is contrary to the provisions of the international law of the sea,” the Greek diplomats said after reading the Turkish-Libyan memorandum of understanding on maritime zone. The ignorance of the interests of Greece and the other main players of the Mediterranean (Egypt, Cyprus) in the region makes the agreements between Sarraj and Erdogan unstable and even illegal.

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There is an other interesting fact, that need to be mentioned – Fayez Al Sarraj, the chairman residential Council of Libya – and GNA, formed in 2015 December have a status of half-legal structure. The Lybian Political Agreements give a mandate to GNA for 1 year – and should be ended, when the constitution of the country will be formed. On case of the delay – it can be renewed for one more year. The GNA, according to the Lybian Political Agreements, is legal till 2017. The prolongation of the mandate for the extra-years after 2017 was not previewed in a document. The situation with Sarraj and GNA becomes more complicated because of the incessant civil war, which creates a situation of the chaos in the country. Although there are now evident poles of power – one in Tobruk, which supports Haftar, and the other in Tripoli – there are still the factor of the different religious groups, tribes and independent gangs, sometimes connected with the terrorist organizations.

Terrorists from Syria in Tripoli? How they have appeared in the region?

The Syrian Arab Agency News (SANA) recently published the article, accusing Erdogan’s regime in transfering terrorists from Syria to Libya.

“Recently, local sources in Hasaka said that the Turkish occupation forces are continuing to pull out groups of their mercenaries from Ras al-Ayn City and its surroundings, adding that those terrorists are likely to be sent to Libya through the Turkish territories to plunge them into the battles taking place there”.

The spokesman of Lybian National Army Major General Ahmed al-Mismarirevealed that over the past days, the Turkish regime has transferred terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization to Libya.

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In May 2019, Colonel Abu Bakr al-Badri, a Libyan naval operations officer, also revealed that the Turkish ship Amazon, which docked in the capital city of Tripoli, was carrying a large number of terrorists, including mercenaries from Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

The terrorists before sending to the region, according to the sources are trained in the Turkish military camps, they are provided with the best arms and medicine support, the terrorist, connected with the radical islamist groups, are sent from Mersin navy base or Gaziantep airport.

The Turkey’s policy in Lybian conflict (the support of non-legitime Sarraj and the transfer of the Syrian terrorists to the region, as well as the total ignorance of the neighbor countries) can lead Turkey to the catastrophic losses: the isolation of the country can be widen by the western countries, as well as the partnership with Russia can be rapidly be lost (Russia supports Haftar). It’s important to note that in Turkey – the positions of Erdogan are more and more unstable: the situation with the elections in Istanbul showed that – the Republican People’s Party candidate EkremImamoglu won the city’s rerun mayoral elections on June 23 – the loss of AK Party in Istanbul shows the big problems, that Erdogan has…