By: Abdulrazag Elaradi*
There is no doubt that the individual step taken by the Prime
Minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj, will further complicate the complicated situation due to stumbled steps towards forming the government. Given its sudden, and covered by lack of information, explaining it will be difficult. But this shouldn’t halt trials to inspect some of its indications before studying its direct and indirect repercussions.
It is hard to confirm on clear and direct reasons for the visit, but still, we can talk about the outstanding points:
- It is known that Al-Sarraj came to Al-Marj from Egypt, where he spent 3 days. Rumor before the visit had it that he met with Haftar in Cairo by Egyptian mediation, which was denied by Al-Sarraj in his meeting with the members of the Presidency Council.
- Kobler’s comments on the visit were diplomatic. “To talk to each other can never be a violation of the Libyan political agreement. Only through political dialogue there can be progress” He said. Especially if we add to that that Al-Sarraj decided to meet Haftar without knowledge of Kobler or some international players, it can be an indication that the visit happened in the knowledge or may be the willing of more than an actor.
- Attendance of Al-Majbary, who is pro-Ibrahim Jadhran, is another indication that can’t be overlooked when talking about reasons. It is hard to have rapprochement between Jadhran and Haftar without the mediation of a third party. There is no doubt that Emirates is upset with rapprochement between Jadhran with Libya Dawn camp.
- Speech of chief of the General National Congress (GNC), Nuri Abusahmain, and raising the bar against the Government of National Accord (GNA) can’t be overlooked despite it isn’t probable that the meeting was a reply to that speech. It is probable that some forces wanted to send a message to Abusahmain and another to supporters of the political agreement in the west, if not Tripoli, Tobruk might be the replacement.
Knowing the indication of the visit depends on Al-Sarraj’s range of independence in making the visit decision, or even the size of his impact in the decision. As long as it isn’t possible to value this, some main points can be observed:
- Realistically, it is hard to talk about a real breach in the east without Haftar, who events prove that he holds most of the cards in the east, whether by his arrangements of supportive regional and international powers. Al-Barasi, Al-Hejazi, Al-Ghaithy, and tribes have little effect against him too.
- Al-Sarraj finds himself without deepness in the Presidency Council, where there are a group of strong personalities and supported by forces on the ground in east and west. It is natural that he seeks strengthening his position inside the council. If we add to the visit his statement to that caused controversy for being in line with Haftar’s stance from Benghazi events. Al-Sarraj is searching for a source of power to strengthen his stance.
- Cyrenaica appearing united behind Haftar may be an indication that yesterday’s picture tried to prove.
- The picture also showed the side of the strong Haftar who the internationally supported government goes to his office and leadership headquarters, not just a person who can be met in Tobruk or Al-Baida or an Arabic or international capital.
- Yesterday’s picture also might have shown the Prime Minister in a shaking position; holding not agreed upon meetings in the darkness and away from the press.
- The picture also showed the absence of Al-Mahdy Al-Barghathy, nominated to head defense ministry in Al-Sarraj government, he probably has disagreements with Haftar and they might increase. Add to that the leaks about Haftar asking Kobler to be appointed for the ministry. He told Al-Youm Saudi newspaper that Al-Barghathy is a soldier who must listen to orders of his leadership. Leaks also say that he chose the name of defense minister for Al-Sarraj and said he must be also the chief of staff.
- Of the picture’s messages too is what started to be promoted by Dignity Operation affiliates about comparing Al-Marj visit to Zliten visit; that he entered and went out of Al-Marj in respect, while the biggest pro-agreement cities in the west (Misrata) couldn’t secure him.
- Observers didn’t discuss the type of discussion that happened in the meeting, none of what happened in it was leaked, except for what is mentioned above and published by the page of the media bureau of the GNA, saying that discussion about ways to end fight in Benghazi.
- Nothing was known about pledges Al-Sarraj or Haftar made or what did they agree on, although it is hard to believe anything but Al-Sarraj is who gave pledges to Haftar, especially after seeing their post-meeting photo and inspecting the context of meeting.
- The most embarrassed by the visit is the revolution’s force that put all the bits on the political agreement and cut relations with some of its previous allies based on it, trusted Al-Sarraj. Its embarrassment will be doubled; on one hand it will be used by Abusahmain’s supporters and the agreement’s opponents to prove that the agreement was basically wrong, on the other hand it will have to justify its trust in the course for its allies.
- The visit will make rebuilding trust between members of the Presidency Council more difficult, it is already fragile too.
- It will stumble moving on, in the agreement, especially forming the government and not to say, performing from Tripoli.
- It will weaken trust of people in the PC that hasn’t stood up for any situation.
The first steps to be taken are the complete separation of Al-Sarraj and the political agreement, while stressing that the agreement is basic and people no matter their positions, change and their stances shouldn’t affect the agreement. Whenever Al-Sarraj explains the visit, it will be known whether changing persons is needed, the strength and cohesiveness of the agreement will also be measured.
When it is a winter cloud, then it is possible to go back to Tripoli and perform the absent prayer on the soul of the agreement, it is okay too to sit on a café in Tripoli while waiting for another flash, that might not shine.
*A Libyan Writer
Translated By LIBYAPROSPECT: Source