Libya: Is Al-Thanni Seeking to Sabotage UN Plan Deal?

By on January 13, 2017
@Reuters/Hani Amara - Sputnik

The UN deal reached in December 2015  creating a unity government in Libya and imposing a cease-fire among the factions fighting since the death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi was profoundly challenged in the last days, putting into risk all the efforts made by United States, Russia, France, UK, Italy and Germany in the last year.

Libyan media outlets reported the news on General Haftar visiting the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which was positioned off the Libyan coast, while the Arabic Version of Russian News Agency Sputnik published an exclusive interview to former Egyptian Ambassador to Libya Hani Hilaf saying that the Italian embassy’s reopening in the Libyan capital Tripoli reflected the stabilization of the situation in the North African country, signaling Rome’s willingness to cooperate with the government of Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Haftar’s visit on the Russian aircraft carrier and the statement released by the Egyptian diplomat on the reopening of the Italian embassy, published by the main Russian news Agency, appeared to be a strong signal in support of concrete actions under the UN-brokered deal.

What happened in the last 48 hours? Who is trying to sabotage what the Egyptian Ambassador Hani Hilaf described as an “indication of a stabilized situation in Libya”?

International media outlets agree on the role of Abdullah Al-Thanni as the main actor in undermining all the steps in favor of UN efforts.

The foreign ministry of his government sent a “very urgent” note to all Libyan embassies and consulates abroad to inform them about what it called “the military return of the Italian embassy to the capital”. A number of political commentators have deplored the hostile language in the note of Al-Thanni, saying it is a proof of double standards, unreliable and far from reality.

That kind of statement seems to create tensions within the  Tobruk side as well, with particular reference to General Haftar, who is looking for the international community support in order to introduce a “new approach” for the government of Libya.

According to local sources in Tobruk quoted on Libyan social media, Abdullah al-Thanni is only aiming at creating tensions via “manipulations” and to ensure his own political survival, exploiting internal rivalries with Haftar that the media can whip up.

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