UAE calls the shots on Libya - analysis

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be the main actor determining the fate of a political solution in Libya, as it is the only foreign power that has no reason to deescalate the conflict, said analyst James M. Dorsey in the Algemeiner Journal on Thursday.

The prospects for Libya’s stability will remain dim so long as the UAE continues its military support for General Khalifa Haftar, who heads the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), Dorsey told the newspaper, citing a recent paper by North Africa expert Ben Fishman.

Libya has become the stage of a new proxy war in the region ever since the UAE and Egypt-backed LNA launched an assault in April against the U.N.-recognised government in Tripoli supported by Turkey and Qatar.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia President Vladimir Putin’s recent efforts to ensure a ceasefire in Libya aim to “align opposing Russian and Turkish interests, allow the two parties to cooperate in the exploitation of Libya’s energy resources and protect a Turkish-Libyan maritime agreement creating an Exclusive Economic Zone that strengthens Russian-backed Turkish manoeuvres in the eastern Mediterranean,” Dorsey said.

“Besides the fact that they provide the greatest advantage to Haftar’s forces, focusing on the Emiratis also makes sense because the other foreign players currently have reasons to de-escalate on their own,” Fishman said in the paper.

Meanwhile, stepping up its involvement in Libya puts Egypt at risk as it is also at odds with Ethiopia over the operation of a giant dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile, Dorsey said.