It was not planned, but retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar traveled to Cairo on Sunday where he met with the Egyptian president.
Since then, there has been talk of direct military involvement of Egypt in the Tripoli war. Rai al-Youm returns to a confrontation of the powers in Libya as well as the possibility of an international military intervention that would put an end to this war with multiple stakes in this country of North Africa, in an article signed Atwan.
Under the auspices of the UN, the conference of “national reconciliation” aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Libya, should have taken place Sunday in the city of Ghadames in the south of the country to prepare the ground for holding parliamentary elections by the end of the year. But the Libyan national army’s offensive, sponsored by General Khalifa Haftar against the capital, Tripoli, shattered everything, exposing Libya to multiple scenarios.
Either General Haftar, with his forces, will take control of the capital and the entire Libyan territory afterwards by proclaiming himself president, or he will retreat after a bitter failure that will weaken him and make him lose the zones under its control located in the south, the center and the east of the country, estimates the editorialist of the newspaper.
According to Atwan, the decisive battle in Tripoli is between two powers, each claiming victory. On the one hand, General Haftar supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France and on the other, the Libyan government of national consensus which is recognized by the international community, enjoys the support of Qatar, Turkey, Italy and other Muslim groups including the powerful organizations in Misrata.
It goes without saying that Haftar forces operating from the East will face major challenges to achieve their goal of quickly dominating the capital, despite some progress in the mountainous and rugged Garyan region in the south of capital city.
Following the capture of 95% of oil wells and oil fields in Libya announced by his spokesman, Major General Ahmed al-Mismari, General Haftar could have participated in a strong position in the failed national reconciliation conference in Libya. Ghadames. However, the latter chose the military option. General Haftar wants to realize at all costs his dream of all time to become president of Libya even if it is for only one day.
But the most crucial event on the scene of developments in Libya is the flight of General Haftar on Sunday, April 14 to Cairo and his meeting with Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the Egyptian president who is also the biggest enemy of the Brothers Muslims.
The agreements reached at this unannounced meeting remain unknown. But it is not excluded that General Haftar has asked his friend al-Sisi direct military support to end the current impasse in Tripoli and accelerate the process of military action.
The Libyan general made the request to an Egyptian president who refused the request of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to participate in the war in Yemen. It is therefore very likely that al-Sissi is skeptical to say “yes” to Haftar.
As a neighbor, the case of Libya for Cairo is not the same as that of Yemen where Egypt marked in 1967 the bloodiest operation in its history.
Atwan urges to avoid any comparison between the Saudi-Emirati military intervention in Yemen and that expected by Egypt in Libya. The circumstances are different since the stakes are different for the interventionists in Libya who are major international regional powers.
If the war in Yemen entered its fifth year without any promising prospect, one wonders how long the war in Libya will last.
Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo, who plead for the so-called legitimacy of the fleeing Yemeni resigning president and have embarked on a war to bring him back to power, are the same ones who will support General Haftar by providing him with the necessary money, military equipment and air cover.
The warm welcome of the King and the Saudi Crown Prince reserved for the Libyan general during his recent visit to Riyadh leaves no room for astonishment. Salman bin Andelaziz and his son Mohammed ben Salmane of course supported the military operation against Tripoli.