As the effects of the novel coronavirus, which has gripped the world for months, begin to wane, many countries are quickly turning their focus back on their pre-pandemic agendas.
A leading issue in Turkish foreign policy is the civil war in Libya, where Ankara’s throws its weight behind the internationally recognized Tripoli government.
But Turkey isn’t the country with stakes in the North African country as a number of Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, are backing a rival faction in Libya led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
In addition to being on opposing sides of the conflict, Cairo and Ankara have fundamentally different policies and outlooks on the Libya conflict, but both the regional rivals are vying for influence and resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
A recent article by Al Arab writer Muhammad Abul Fadl’s sheds light on understanding how Cairo perceives the Turkish intervention in Libya.
“Turkey and Egypt have different political positions on a wide range of issues in the region. The first serious dispute started years ago when Turkey launched a military operation into Syria,’’ he wrote.
Abul Fadl said Turkey’s interest over hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean had been simmering for years.
Turkey’s military intervention and Ankara’s attempt to deploy troops to Libya with the support of some radical groups led to further escalation of the conflict, the article said.
Despite the expansionist policies pursued by Turkey, Egypt, another important power in the region, consistently prioritized political solutions and never thought of any kind of military action against Turkey, he wrote.
When Libya and Egypt felt as though Turkey’s policies started posing a danger to them, Cairo tried to remain at the negotiation table for a political solution, Abul Fadl said.
The analyst maintains that many groups in Libya accuse Egypt of failing to interfere in the conflict, abandoning Libyans in a face off with Turkey.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Turkey and Egypt is their views and motivations, the analyst wrote.
Libya and Egypt are aware that a possible Egyptian intervention might lead to permanent scars over the two brother nations, he said.
One of the most important characteristics of the people is that they do not forget the military operations promising to help, but were organized by those causing harm to them, he wrote.
While Egypt continues to watch the developments in silence, the article said, Turkey boldly moves forward, he said, using tools that include mercenaries and other terror elements.
If Egypt did not carry out a military operation to gain some advantages, it was because it did not want to harm the interests of the Libyan people, he said.
For the Libyan people, Turkey is currently a colonial power trying to open the door to the country through mercenary soldiers and terrorists, the Al Arabiya columnist said.
If Turkey continues assert itself over Libyans, the country will see the moves as being staged by mercenaries and soldiers and they will never forget it, he added.
Recent events have the potential to bring the country face to face with a new Somalia scenario. Turkey is trying to capture a piece of Libya for its own economic interests. While doing this, the cost of the war will definitely rise up and of course the Libyans will pay for it.
“Many see the military intervention as a solution in Libya. Egypt is not seeking a reckless policy in Libya,” Abul Fadl said.