A frigate of the French Navy has prevented a tanker from loading refined oil products at a Libyan port as part of a sale to an UAE-registered company, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing four Western diplomats. The tanker was stopped at sea as it was heading for the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya close to the border with Egypt. Libya’s oil industry is in total disarray after a group of paramilitary formations affiliated with the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar occupied Libya’s oil export terminals in January along with pipelines and fields. As a result of the blockade, Libya’s oil production –which had stood at more than 1 million bpd at the start of January – has collapsed to less than 100,000 bpd. Since the blockade of the oil ports in January this year, Libya’s crude oil exports have shrunk by 92 percent and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) has lost some $5 billion, the Libyan state oil firm said this week.
May 28, 2020 20:26 UTC
Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said in a statement on Thursday that the attack took place in the town of Mizda, reports Reuters. "We are trying to contact with the labour counselor [in Libya] to get the details. It seems they were kidnapped before the killing," Joint Secretary Nasreen Jahan of the expatriates’ welfare ministry told the Dhaka Tribune. "We have just learned of this tragedy and are following up to get more details and provide assistance to survivors," Reuters quoted IOM Libya spokeswoman Safa Msehli. Libya has long been a destination for migrants because of its oil-funded economy, but is also an important way-station for people attempting to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.
May 28, 2020 17:49 UTC
The most consequential bit of news from the NPC is the imposition of Article 23 on Hong Kong. Since the United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997, Hong Kong has enjoyed a special status in the PRC. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported to Congress that Hong Kong can no longer be considered autonomous from China. As required by the Hong Kong Policy Act, Pompeo had to report to Congress on Hong Kong’s status. In a statement, he said, “I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997.
May 28, 2020 17:48 UTC
After backing rival sides in Libya's long-running conflict, Russia and Turkey appear to have agreed to avoid direct confrontation and instead carve the country into "spheres of influence", analysts say. "Taken together, these developments suggest that Turkey and Russia are trying to carve up spheres of influence in Libya." "Moscow does not wish to wage a long and costly war in Libya as it has done since 2015 in Syria," he added. He is heard saying that Moscow advises restarting dialogue, as it no longer sees a positive outcome to Haftar's offensive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday reaffirmed the need for an immediate ceasefire and "constructive dialogue" in Libya after talks with Saleh.
May 28, 2020 13:18 UTC
The Tunisian minister stressed his country's opposition to all forms of foreign interference in Libya, and reiterated Tunisia’s call for a Libyan-Libyan solution to the conflict. The French minister expressed satisfaction at the current state of relations between Tunisia and France and pledged to further develop them with the aim of developing a joint long-term plan, according to the Tunisian statement. Since 2011, the US, and to a certain extent Turkey, have had a virtual monopoly on military cooperation and training agreements with Tunisia. Turkish designs are seen as having American blessings, which would be a serious blow to France’s plans in western Libya. France is one of the major European countries opposed to Turkish intervention in Libya.
May 28, 2020 11:15 UTC
Hence, Turkey doesn’t just have the East Mediterranean on its radar; and this is where France’s belligerent attitude stems from. In particular, the struggles for independence of the colonialist era were the basis for the quest for nationalization in the new period. It is necessary to reconsider the national struggles of the colonialist era from this perspective. We can see this initiative, which contributes to peace and stability and creates certain wealth, as a result of the national liberation struggles of the colonialist era. To reduce Turkey’s presence in the East Mediterranean to economic interests would point to a great alienation on its part.
May 28, 2020 07:30 UTC
While fighting NATO-backed rebels, Gaddafi did not entertain the idea of dividing Libya in order for him to stay in power, despite having the means to do so. When General Haftar launched his military campaign to “libertate the capital from terrorists” as he stated, he gambled both his own future and the country’s. What is really worrying are two facts: firstly, Haftar’s own political future centres on the idea of him taking Tripoli. This leaves the general with one option, which is sectioning Libya to carve out his own territory to rule. Turkey’s heavy military involvement in the war in Libya can only be understood in the wider regional Turkish policy.
May 28, 2020 07:30 UTC
Updated at 4:27pm with details of meetingsMalta and Libya will be setting up joint coordination units in their respective capitals to tackle the migration crisis, MaltaToday has learnt. The memorandum of understanding was signed on Thursday after talks between Prime Minister Robert Abela and the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj. Sources close to the talks said the coordination units would help smoothen communication between both countries when dealing with migrant rescues in the Mediterranean. Abela was accompanied by Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri and OPM head of secretariat Clyde Caruana. This is the first official visit abroad by the Prime Minister, who took office in January 2020.
May 28, 2020 07:05 UTC
A Maltese delegation led by Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela left for Tripoli early Thursday morning. This is the first official visit abroad by the Prime Minister, who took office in February 2020. Meetings are scheduled to take place with the Government of National Accord Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala and Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga. Discussions are set to focus on immigration, where the Maltese are keen on securing stronger Libyan controls on human trafficking networks. The government insists that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it unable to succour migrants at sea.
May 28, 2020 06:56 UTC
May 27, 2020Libya is further spiraling into a full-blown proxy war like Syria that could destabilize the region, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian warned today. We are facing a ‘Syrianization’ of Libya,” he told a French Senate panel, according to Reuters. Libya’s descent into chaos has drawn in several foreign powers, each pursuing their own agendas in the north African country. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord enjoys support from Turkey, Qatar and Italy, while Hifter’s backers include the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Egypt, France and Jordan. Foreign weapons from the warring parties’ international patrons have flooded Libya in blatant violation of a United Nations arms embargo, and the presence of foreign fighters has further complicated the situation on the ground.
May 28, 2020 00:50 UTC
MOSCOW (AP) " A senior Russian lawmaker on Wednesday strongly rejected the U.S. military's claim that Russia has deployed fighter jets to Libya to support east-based forces in their offensive on the capital, Tripoli. Viktor Bondarev, the former Russian air force chief who heads the defense committee in the upper house of parliament, dismissed the claim by the U.S. Africa Command as "stupidity." 'If the warplanes are in Libya, they are Soviet, not Russian,' he said. The U.S. Africa Command said Tuesday the Russian military aircraft arrived in Libya recently from an airbase in Russia via Syria, where they were repainted to hide their Russian origin. Hifter is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while the Tripoli-allied militias are aided by Turkey, Qatar and Italy.
May 27, 2020 18:33 UTC
Now Libya's Coronavirus cases stand at a total of 79 cases, the center said, adding that the two positive cases were among 218 samples received by its Reference Laboratories in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi as well as the Tripoli University Hospital. The southern region in Libya registered the first two Coronavirus cases on Tuesday, one of whom is a woman in her fifties and the second is a man in his thirties. The two cases contacted with a suspected positive Coronavirus case - the mother of the man - the center said, adding that mother died of high temperature without testing positive for Coronavirus. "We will follow up with the people who were in contact with the new Coronavirus cases." Meanwhile, a source from Sabha said that the mother of the man could have died from Coronavirus but the lack of medical capabilities affected proper diagnosis of the woman.
May 27, 2020 18:22 UTC
The group of 20 are joined by 50 other linguaphiles from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and even India — Pakistan’s nuclear-armed neighbor, and its archrival since the 1947 partition. Millions of our nationals are employed in different fields in several Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” he said. (Supplied by ambassador Javed HafeezA screen grab shows participants of the Arabic Speaking Circle meeting via Zoom held on May 15. “The platform could also be used to dub classical dramas and films in both Urdu and Arabic to promote them in Pakistan and Middle Eastern countries. This is an apolitical platform, and its only purpose is to promote Arabic language and strengthen our relationship with Middle Eastern countries,” Dr. Ghazi said.
May 27, 2020 16:42 UTC
The Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and African affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov has discussed with the Italian Ambassador to Moscow, Pasquale Terracciano the latest developments in the Libyan crisis, and ways of establishing a comprehensive political process. The parties emphasized the importance of communicating with all key political powers in Libya to achieve a ceasefire, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Earlier today, Bogdanov had discussions with the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smaїl Chergui over the developments in Sudan and Libya.
May 27, 2020 16:30 UTC
Ankara did not initially feel the full impact of the shift in Egypt because it was relying on Sudan as its main haven for extremist groups. The spokesman of the Arab League for Sudan, Suleiman Sirri, said that it is clear Erdogan is smuggling Islamists from Sudan to Tripoli to take part in the war effort. Sirri told Al-Arab that Libya is a strategic country for Erdogan in his plans to boost the counter-revolution in Sudan where is offering media and logistical support to Bashir loyalists. Sudanese political activist Hatem Ilias agreed that Turkey’s presence in Libya is part of its strategy for a comeback after Bashir’s ouster. First, Erdogan is relying on militias in Libya to try to revive the Muslim Brotherhood’s movement, he said.
May 27, 2020 14:26 UTC