30/06/2020 – The Israeli Institute for National Security Studies said the victories achieved by the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya threaten the interests of the Israeli authorities.
In a report, the INSS said the recent gains made by the internationally recognised GNA with the support of Turkey “signals its [Ankara’s] dominance among the outside powers seeking to influence the sparsely populated but oil-rich nation”.
“Turkey is emerging as a key arbiter in the Libyan conflict and could ultimately exert additional regional influence from the perch of the besieged North African country,” the study added.
“Turkey’s efforts to assist the GNA should be understood in the broader regional context… Its relationship with the GNA, and the maritime delimitation agreement in particular, will obstruct plans to build the EastMed pipeline, which was slated to export natural gas from Israel though Cyprus and Greece and on to Europe,” INSS warned, in reference to agreements signed between the GNA and Turkey late last year.
Late last week and over the weekend, the GNA announced that it had recaptured all of the Libyan capital Tripoli from Haftar’s forces and work had restarted at all major oil fields which had previously fallen into his militia’s hands.
INSS said that the GNA’s control of the country’s petroleum would mean “Turkey would reap substantial economic benefits as it lacks energy resources of its own and would likely secure lucrative contracts for Turkish companies to assist in Libya’s reconstruction.”
“While developments in Libya do not usually bear directly on Israel,” the report explained, “an established Turkish presence in the North African country warrants close attention from policymakers.” Ankara’s actions, the INSS added, would “carry significant regional implications by weakening the evolving Greece-Cyprus-Egypt-Israel camp”.
Middle East Monitor
Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) |Photo d’illustration: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj (R) hold a joint press conference at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on 4 June 2020. [Metin Aktaş – Anadolu Agency]