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A rogues gallery meet in Berlin

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19.01.2020

Perhaps “un bal masqué” could have been more of a diplomatic title. Still, let’s opt for this one given the backgrounds of certain characters attending the Berlin Conference on Libya as I write these lines on Sunday. The outcome is anybody’s guess and whether it will make any difference is anybody’s guess as well. The safest bet is to claim that we are just starting a long de-escalation period with its inevitable ups and downs unless General Hafter manages to upend it militarily.

A “coupist”, a “warlord”, “illegitimate” and so forth, that is how President Erdoğan qualified General Hafter, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in his piece penned for Politico on Saturday by way of opinion forming before the meeting. Mr. Erdoğan had also called President Sisi of Egypt a “coupist” in public several times seizing various occasions. Turkey, does not have an ambassador in Cairo, as it does not have one in Tel Aviv and in Damascus.

Via Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu, Ankara also cited France alongside with UAE and Egypt as the powers which do not help the “process” in Libya. Erdoğan himself blamed France in his Politico article for siding up with Hafter. Meanwhile, Egypt kicked the official Turkish news agency AA’s Cairo Chief out the country after briefly detaining him for his alleged connection with the Muslim Brothers.

UAE could not escape President Erdoğan’s ire in particular. The sheikhdom is long suspected as being among the........

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