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EU finally moves on Libya, but without much leverage


Whether the EU can turn the tide in Libya is unclear. It is likely to be an awkward meeting when Germany, France, and Italy’s foreign ministers meet Serraj in Tripoli. They will seek to convince him to withdraw the call for support for Turkish forces. However, with his back to the wall and having been abandoned by the EU at such a crucial time, it is difficult to see Serraj being agreeable to such a demand. The EU must be aware of this which leads to the question as to what they can possibly offer.'
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For Turkey, Libya is as important as Syria


Turkey’s interest is not Libya itself. Unlike the UAE or Egypt, Turkey’s involvement in Libya is not ideological. Instead, it is rooted in geopolitical realities that have put Turkey in a difficult situation. A glance at an influence map of the Mediterranean points to a maritime chokehold forming on Turkey that has alarmed Ankara. A combination of Egyptian, Greek, Cypriot, and Israeli antagonism added to UAE maritime expansionism suggests a dire state (from Turkey’s perspective) with regards to influence in the Mediterranean.


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Why was the Kuala Lumpur Summit so significant?


Mahathir’s summit was a challenge to the established institutions such as the OIC which has long been accused of being ineffective and hampered by internal divisions primarily driven in recent times by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Moreover, Mahathir clearly directed the blame for the current situation at Saudi Arabia and the UAE by inviting their two rivals Qatar and Turkey.

The message did not go amiss in Riyadh.


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Will Sudan's army abide by civilian rule?


Although Sudan looks ostensibly to be a revolution, a fairer analysis points to a coup, a divided army that was taken advantage of by the UAE and Saudi, and an attempted plan to salvage power by Bashir that went awry.


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Trump’s withdrawal does not mean victory for Russia


Following Trump’s commencing of US withdrawal of troops from Syria, there has been much talk about Russia ‘replacing’ the US in Syria. A viral video of a Russian filming an abandoned US base caused a stir and discussion over Russia’s growing importance in the region. However, given the circumstances on the ground, there is more to suggest that the ‘seismic’ shift being touted is not quite as it seems.


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Why Bin Salman cannot abandon his alliance with the UAE


Bin Salman's alliance is not solely built on personal friendship with Bin Zayed. It is also built on geopolitical realities. Aside from Abu Dhabi, Bin Salman has very few immediate alternatives.


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Why the Gulf desire for US patronage?


It would be naïve however to suggest that the apathy caused by wealth and luxury is behind the insatiable desire of Gulf monarchies to ingratiate themselves with Washington. Instead, King Faisel serves as an enduring example to modern monarchies of the alternative to subordination; death by assassination. It is no coincidence that Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy experienced a seismic shift after the assassination of King Faisel. For the Gulf, King Faisel serves as an example of what happens when a country steps out of line.


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Who let Haftar attack Tripoli?


Haftar believes that in his advance on Tripoli, there are two possible outcomes. The first is that he seizes Tripoli itself and becomes the number one de facto power in Libya. He would then expect the international community to recognise him and the ‘stability’ that he would represent in a similar way to which the international community recognised Egypt’s Marshall Sisi after he overthrew the democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi.

The second is that...


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Infographics


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Why Libya is so important to Turkey


This is how Ankara currently views the situation in the Mediterranean. Turkey fears that the common antagonistic stance of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and a Haftar-led Libya would result in a maritime chokehold on its interests. It therefore believes that it is essential that it intervenes to rescue Tripoli's government to prevent such a scenario.


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Why China is more concerned with defence than expansion


It is perhaps more likely that China’s foreign policy is not geared towards becoming a superpower at all. It is more likely that China views itself as being under attack and is therefore prioritising the establishment of defences to fend off influences that might cause instability, and the potential of enemies to cut off key maritime lifelines.


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