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We've heard so many times about Libya and the ongoing civil war. We've also heard how other countries try to interact with Libyan politics in order to follow their own interests. This involvement not only destroys Libya, but also destroys the region, creates instability and helps terrorist organizations to gain more ground.
Among many things that are happening in Libya, one important question is of the European Union lost Libya in favor of the Russian Federation. This is the main topic of my today's post and I will try to analyze the situation so that I can come up with an answer.
One of the problems that the EU didn't manage to solve is its policy towards Libya. Actually, it's the absence of a policy towards Libya. Statements were made, European leaders made promises, but nothing concrete was done. By doing this, or by not doing anything, Moscow penetrated Libya and consolidated its position in the country, a territory that borders the southern border of the European Union.
From Europe it is very easy to go to Libya, either by airplane or by boat. In any case, the traveling time is short. Libya is geographically located in the south of the European Union, having a direct border with the EU. Due to this, any change in the Libyan politics or conflict has a direct impact in the EU too. This is the reason why Libya is so important for the European states and this is the reason why European states have been involved in the internal affairs of Libya.
I wrote many articles about the Arab Spring. Libya was struck by events that comprises the Arab Spring. In 2011, when people took the streets in many major cities from Libya, France, Italy and the United Kingdom supported the revolution. This outside involvement helped the rebels to find and kill the former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi and his regime has ended once and for all. But this was not the end. Instead of stability, Libya deepened into chaos and a bloody civil war have started. One of the reasons why Libya is what it is today is that countries involved in the conflict have many interests and they cannot reach an agreement. Moreover, inside Libya, there are rival parts that compete against each other and instead of reaching a consensus they continue to fight. On top of all of these, the UK;s decision to leave the EU have complicated things regarding Libya, as long as the EU finds it now even more difficult to have a consistent strategy towards Libya.
In conclusion, the inability of the European Union to build a solid strategy for Libya damages the Libya stability and security, helping the ongoing conflict to expand. Another effect is that Russia came from behind and managed to become an important actor in Libya, making the EU not so important anymore.
After Gaddafi fall, instead of working together, two important European states chose to support two different sides in Libya: France and Italy. What's funny is that in 2011 they worked together in NATO operations against Gaddafi, but now they complicate things even more. Because of French and Italian divergence interests in Libya, the EU is not capable of doing anything and the conflict is far away from being solved.
On the one hand, Italy wants to fight against illegal migration and to stop the huge waves of migrants coming from and through Libya on the Italian soil. On the other hand, France doesn't really care about migration, Paris only wants to fight against terrorism and to stop the expansion and the consolidation of terrorist networks outside Libya. Also, France is very interested in the oil sector.
Italy, like other EU countries and the US, is supporting the GNA or Government of National Accord, which is based in Tripoli and it's internationally recognized, while France is backing Haftar, the rival of GNA, who wants to rule the country with his own government.