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‘Haftar has been barking up the wrong tree’

Distinguished Libyan journalist and political analyst, Ashur Shamis, has spoken out on the Libyan Civil War and ceasefire in the country

Distinguished Libyan journalist and political analyst, Ashur Shamis, has spoken out on the Libyan Civil War and ceasefire in the country, and stressed his support of the Turkish-Libyan maritime and security agreement. Speaking exclusively to MEMO in London, Shamis also looked at the Berlin Conference, gathered yesterday in an attempt to broker a permanent ceasefire.

“Everyone is talking of the ceasefire or oil ports in Libya. But, unfortunately, nobody asks what the Libyan civilians really want. They want justice, they want peace, they want democracy. Since 2011, they have been underlining the same wishes of the Arab Spring and they have carried the same soul as other Arab nations.

On the other hand, [Khalifa] Haftar wants to destroy the democratic soul of the Arab Spring and he wants to continue fighting until the military overtakes Tripoli.” There, Shamis pointed out: “Haftar has been barking up the wrong tree. Last week, Moscow shows us that he has completely the wrong policy, and his main aim is not fighting with terrorism. Therefore, by looking at Libya, we can see the value of the human beings in the MENA region.”

READ: The Berlin conference benefited everyone except the Libyans

Shamis was critical of the United Arab Emirates’ support of Haftar, insisting: “United Arab Emirates (UAE), Haftar’s supporter, is not physically fighting on the ground but is supplying weapons. Because, the UAE knows that the war in Libya is the continuation of the Arab Spring. Haftar and the UAE want to kill the soul of the Arab Spring in Libya.”

According to Shamis, in Yemen the conditions are even worse than in Libya, as the UAE had troops. “The UAE, which recently withdrew its troops from Yemen, has been accused of arming and training an estimated 90,000 fighters in the Security Belt, to serve as its proxy in the country,” informs Shamis.

When asked by MEMO about the Turkish-Libyan maritime and security agreement signed last December, Shamis noted that the agreement sends a political message to Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt: that Turkey will not be excluded in the Eastern Mediterranean, and nothing can be really achieved in the region without Turkey’s participation.

Shamis also stressed on the importance of yesterday’s Berlin Conference: “Despite no ceasefire, it is positive to see that world powers pledged to halt Libya weapon transfers. Sanctions threatened against countries who break arms embargo was a good step to sustain the peace in the country.”

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