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Libyans Fear Rapprochement Between GNA, Pakistan

Libyans Fear Rapprochement Between GNA, Pakistan

Wednesday, 23 December, 2020 - 09:00

A number of political observers and experts warned that regional powers, such as Pakistan, are trying to establish a foothold in Libya, which will further complicate the situation in the country.

Recently, Defense Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Salah al-Namroush received the Pakistani military attaché in Libya, Brigadier Atif Talha.

Talha announced his country’s desire to enhance the military cooperation with Libya in the fields of counterterrorism, demining, and disposal of explosive wastes.

Member of the House of Representatives (HoR) Ali al-Takbali wondered the reason behind Pakistan’s involvement in Libya at the current time, despite the established relations between the two countries.

He indicated that Pakistan is trying to cooperate with Libya in the security and military field, at such a difficult time in the country.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Takbali indicated that the Turkish intervention in Libya encouraged most countries in the region to follow Pakistan's league.

He explained that rival regional powers in the Middle East have long sought to intervene in Libya and North Africa after Turkey preceded them.

The lawmaker indicated that Pakistan’s interest in Libya could lead to India or perhaps Iran’s involvement, noting that this will further complicate the situation.

GNA's Defense Minister allows foreign intervention thus leading to the failure of any political solution, which if reached, will not allow him to remain in position, according to Takbali.

For his part, Libyan security expert and head of Silphium Center for Studies and Research, Gamal Shallouf, fears that the Libyan treasury would finance any deals concluded or to be concluded between Pakistan and Turkey, in light of their apparent rapprochement over the recent period.

Shallouf told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Turkish Air Force still suffers from the repercussions of the failed coup attempt in 2016, which prompted Ankara to seek the help of foreign military pilots and experts, especially in F-16 fighter.

Ankara had already requested the assistance of Islamabad, he noted, adding that in light of the difficult economic situation, it would be possible to include the costs of training or hiring of Pakistani pilots in Turkey in the bill for any potential Pakistani training of GNA forces.

Meanwhile, the security expert at al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Ahmed Kamel el-Buheiri, highlighted the possibility of Turkey seeking to establish a Libyan army that mimics the Pakistani military model.

He explained that the Pakistani army succeeded in agreeing with the religious establishment of various currents, including Salafists, the Brotherhood, and more extremist groups.

The expert stated that the danger will be trying to imitate the Pakistani army, that is, merge the Libyan military establishment with the Islamic current which controls the GNA.

Turkey will establish an army of a religious nature, and Pakistan will receive the financial revenues that will be paid from the proceeds of Libyan oil, according to the expert.

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