Panafrican News Agency

Libyan media highlight struggles between intervening countries in Libya, judicial protection of Libyan assets abroad

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The struggle by foreign countries to play the bigger role in restoring peace in Libya was the main stories in the Libyan media this week.

They also ran stories on efforts to protect Libyan assets abroad.

According to newspaper reports, the struggle for a bigger influence is manifesting in the tension generated by France, Turkey, Russia, the United States and Egypt, to the point of further complicating and deepening the differences on the political scene in Libya.

The press in Libya has also shown interest in the form of the Libyan state likely to preserve the unity of the country, between those who advocate federalism and decentralization within the framework of a centralized state and the country's investments in the foreign countries and its assets which have been preserved through legal action.

The newspaper al-Wassat claimed that the control by the forces of the government of national accord, supported by Turkey, on the axes of the West of Libya and their rapprochement of the zone of the oil crescent (East), and the fears of tightening their grip on the basin of the Gulf of Sirte, then on Al-Jafra, reveal the emergence of more striking characteristics of the French role in Libya in the coming days.

This situation comes after Paris felt marginalized by Ankara and Moscow and its dismay at the loss of geostrategic regions, alongside the imminent launch of the "Tusk Force Takuba" mission in the countries of the African Sahel and the obstacles of the European mission "Irini", the newspaper said.

The newspaper added that given the slide in its influence in Libya, France has faced complications from all sides, having remained silent since the start of the war for the capital, Tripoli, except traditional declarations calling for a ceasefire and a return to dialogue. Paris preferred to provide informal support to Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

According to the newspaper, behind this position, there are two main objectives: the control of terrorism in Libya and in the Sahel region, where the French forces are located, in an objective that differs from the Italian effort, aimed at containing the waves of immigration from the Libyan coast.                      

"Immediately after Turkey signed the two agreements to delimit the borders of the maritime economic zone with the national accord government and announced the start of oil and gas exploration in the region, President Emmanuel Macron warned of the danger of Turkish interference and its link with the African Sahel region," the newspaper said.

According to Al-Wassat, Paris is keen not to lose its position in Libya, while promoting its interests in the Sahel, which was mentioned by the former French diplomat in Libya between 2001 and 2004, Patrick Heimsade, in an interview with the French newspaper "Orient XA", clarifying that France, which participated militarily in the Sahel region, "welcomed the military takeover of southern Libya", affirming that many participants in the takeover of southern Libya in March 2019 were "not only from the (Libyan) Defense Ministry, but also from the entourage of French President Emmanuel Macron".

The newspaper added that President Macron raised the question of what the Elysée considered Turkish bad behaviour while using NATO", with his American counterpart Donald Trump.

The newspaper said France may need to take a clearer stance to engage in dialogue with Turkey, or follow the escalation option, especially since it has repeatedly expressed what it has described as "the clinical death of NATO after Ankara's intervention against the Kurds in Syria", but it does not hide its dissatisfaction with the arm wrestling policy thanks to Turkey's attempts to put pressure on Europe with the immigration issue.

Addressing the question of the organization that best suits the Libyan state to guarantee cohesion and unity, the newspaper, Afrigatenews, echoed a post by the Libyan writer, Abderazzak Al-Dahech on Facebook, declaring that the centralized administrative system is the most appropriate in the current situation for the Libyans, for the cohesion of the country and transcends the narrow regional and tribal identities which have reappeared in recent times.

The newspaper said that Al-Dahech considered in a post that the federal system was not suitable for Libya, saying that history testified that it did not hold. It is better to divide the country administratively into ten governorates, through which it is possible to achieve global development and an equitable distribution of wealth according to national standards.

The Libyan writer added, according to the newspaper, that the federalists seek personal gains, and that they are known for their strong voice although their number is weak, which means that their influence will be weak and ineffective in determining the administrative future of the country.

On the question of Libyan investments and assets abroad, the newspaper, Al-Wassat, claimed that in a short period of time which will not exceed ten days, judicial decisions protecting Libyan assets abroad will be delivered.

It said the Egyptian justice had ruled in favor of the Libyan Investment Authority to cancel the compensation in favor of the Kuwaiti Al-Kharafi Group, and the Brussels court ruled that the assets frozen from the Investment Authority could not be transferred.

These assets amount to US$ 15 billion outside the Euroclear banking system after carrying out a seizure, the newspaper said.

Citing a statement issued by the Authority as a "judicial victory", the newspaper said that the Authority considered that the decision rendered by the Brussels Appeals Chamber on June 11 stipulates that the assets remain in the Euroclear instead of transferring them to an external account under the supervision of Belgian justice.

According to the statement, the assets of the Libyan Investment Authority were seized as a precautionary measure as part of the ongoing investigations, while the Libyan Fund welcomed the decision, stressing that it was not part of the defense in the main case.

The newspaper said the head of the Libyan Investment Authority, Ali Mahmoud, confirmed that the fund has used all available legal means to preserve its important assets for the benefit of future generations.

This decision comes in the wake of the decision of the London Commercial Court in favor of the Fund in the case of the dispute over the legitimacy of its management in March, the newspaper recalled, indicating that according to this, a decision was made on the legitimacy of the board of directors of the Investment Authority, headed by Ali Mahmoud, considered as the sole legitimate president of the institution.

-0- PANA BY/IS/KND/VAO 20June2020