Moves, goals and alliances in Libya of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In-depth analysis by Giuseppe Gagliano
Among the countries that supported the elimination of Gaddafi in Libya in 2011 there were Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which certainly were, among the Arab states, the most determined to destroy the Libyan regime.
Even then, as today, both the European Union and the UN showed both their weaknesses and their differences caused by divergent interests. The US opted for a progressive and gradual disengagement from the Middle Eastern theater which is unlikely to regain since the Trump administration’s priorities are China and Russia.
Now, taking advantage of this situation of instability, Qatar has tried to exploit this propitious opportunity for a policy of greater weight and significance at the geopolitical level in Libya. Precisely for this reason, Qatar’s military presence in 2011 alongside NATO was certainly relevant not only through air power but also through the training of Libyan rebels both on Libyan territory and in Doha, without forgetting the important role that its own forces play. had special events in the final assault against Gaddafi.
With the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, Qatar recognized the National Transitional Council as a legitimate political institution and contributed significantly, not only economically, to supplying the rebels with the necessary energy resources.
Another instrument of influence and at the same time of penetration in Libya were certainly the brothers Ali and Isma’il al-Salabi persecuted by the Gaddafi regime. In particular, al-Salabi is certainly one of the most important men of religion linked to the Muslim brotherhood.
Another key man for Qatar was certainly Abd al-Ḥakim Bilḥag, considered by both the CIA and the US State Department as a dangerous terrorist as leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. His political role was very important both because he coordinated the military council of Tripoli and because he was one of the main leaders of the al-Waṯan party political grouping of extreme weight within the general national congress.
Well, if Qatar, despite the weight and influence it has tried to exert in Libya, has still not managed to achieve this goal today, it also depends, but not only naturally, on the fact that it has opened Pandora’s box. given the green light to the Islamic militias that have de facto destabilized Libya and in particular Cyrenaica. The Libyan Dawn is nothing more than a heterogeneous galaxy of Salafist matrix.
Another element of unpredictable destabilization was the role of Haftar, a resolute opponent of the Islamist militias whose defeat in 2014 allowed him to set up the provisional government of Tobruk.
And what is the role played by the United Arab Emirates in the Libyan crisis
Their power policy in Libya does not depend only on the possibility of making huge investments in the construction and energy sectors, think for example of the Gurayr Group, or infrastructures, but has been implemented both at the military level and through the support for the Zintan militias through the support of two important figures, namely the first president of the NTC Maḥmud Gibril, head of the Alliance of National Forces, and al-Kayb.
However, when the Islamist militias, for example that of Misrata and Farg, destabilize Libya, the Emiratis will support Haftar.
Well, the unpredictable rooting of the Islamist militias in Libya has led the United Arab Emirates to consolidate their political and military alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia in order to increasingly limit the role and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world. .
In conclusion, precisely in the light of the conflicting geopolitical relations between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, it should at least be clearer that understanding the complex conflict dynamics in Libya also means understanding that the game in Libya can only be concluded when the regional conflicts between Arab countries will reach a political compromise. Always assuming of course that this is possible.

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