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Libyans Await Biden Term, Blame Trump for Tripoli War

Libyans Await Biden Term, Blame Trump for Tripoli War

Sunday, 10 January, 2021 - 06:30
A smoke rises from a port of Tripoli after being attacked in Tripoli, Libya, February 18, 2020. (Reuters)

Some Libyan people were amused with the developments at the US Capitol last week as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Congress.

The Libyans compared the “struggle for power” and the signs of division in their country to the developments in the US, saying the Americans had “learned” from the Libyan experience.

Setting aside mockery, many Libyans blame Trump for the war that the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, waged against Tripoli in 2019 and that only ended 14 months later with Turkey’s intervention in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA).

The Libyans hope that President-elect Joe Biden would “rectify the course” adopted by his processor.

Former senior advisor at the United Nations, Ibrahim Mousa Said Grada said Trump was partially to blame for the Tripoli war that began on April 4, 2019.

He cited the telephone call Haftar held on April 19, 2019 with then US national security advisor John Bolton, who according to western diplomats, told the LNA commander that if he was seeking to attack Tripoli, he should do it swiftly.

Many interpreted his remark as an American green light to continue the offensive and that Washington would not intervene to prevent it.

Grada described the Tripoli offensive as the “fiercest and most horrible war against a Libyan city in Libya’s modern history.”

He said the attack was “worse than any battle waged during the 32-year Italian colonial rule of the country or any fighting in Libya during World War II.”

Many Libyans hope that Biden would quickly and positively become involved in Middle Eastern affairs in order to help resolve the many problems plaguing the region.

They hope that he would steer clear from the “erratic” policy of Trump and also from the policies of his predecessor Barack Obama.

Moreover, many Libyans hope that Biden would stay true to his vow during his electoral campaign to counter Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions in Libya.

The Cato Institute in Washington, however, urged Biden against military intervention in other countries.

“If Joe Biden wants to produce a constructive record in foreign policy, he needs to repudiate much of the Obama‐Biden administration’s foreign policy legacy. In particular, he must demonstrate that the United States is out of the forcible regime‐change business,” it said in December.

It said that despite “corruption and repression” under late ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi, he “was able to maintain a modicum of stability and order, and Libya was a modernizing society with increased signs of prosperity.”

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