Berlin, Munich, again Berlin ...
The "selective" nature of the Berlin Libya summit in a number of ways immediately reminded the notorious Munich-1938. The main exception is the lack of a direct aggressor in the forum, which Nazi Germany was eighty-odd years ago. But this does not change much in essence. It is far from the first time that the Great Powers are trying to solve everything with varying success, and right away for those who are not considered to be great.
The summit in Berlin turned out to be extremely representative - such that all European leaders, the US Secretary of State, as well as the presidents of Russia and Turkey, gathered in recent years, a few times. But in terms of retrospect, it is very characteristic today that it was in Berlin in 1885 that the colonial division of Africa was officially formalized.
For many people, it didn’t just seem like that against the background of other European powers, the first violin was played by the diplomats of the young German Empire, inspired by the recent success of Bismarck at the previous Berlin Congress - in 1878. It also seemed that it was the Berlin word in the 1885 section that was decisive, but three decades later it became clear that this was not at all the case.
Nevertheless, Germany today seems ready to take on the same role as an “honest broker”. And it is by no means accidental that among the countries neighboring with Libya, only Egypt and Algeria were invited to this summit. Not in this register Tunisia, Malta, Sudan, Mali, Niger, Chad. Although the authorities of all countries that remained outside the framework of the Berlin Forum have repeatedly proposed a settlement of the Libyan crisis on the basis of their collective mediation under the auspices of the UN Security Council.
They repeatedly proposed the same thing during the first war in Libya (2011-2012), but also in vain. For NATO has set, as you know, the goal of overthrowing the regime of Muammar Gaddafi and dividing the colossal oil and gas resources of Libya. The first and main subject of the section was the seaside hydrocarbon reserves exported mainly through the port of Tripoli. Where is it already up to the task of rebuilding a united Libya and its capable government?
Together with the fact that the participation in the forum of Marshal of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar and the head of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez Sarraj, is deliberately indicated on the last page of the list of participants, this leads to very definite thoughts.
At the same time, some other countries, in addition to the "great" ones, are literally eager to join the Libyan redistribution. For example, representatives of Egypt have intentions to voice old claims to a number of areas of Cyrenaica (eastern Libya), including the port strongholds of Benghazi and Tobruk. Observers do not exclude that Cairo in this regard will try to use the Libyan aggravation and the Berlin forum to implement in some form these claims.
Among other things, the option of a completely precedentful, that is, "as in Munich," Egyptian request, in the form of a "zone of responsibility" for the cessation of hostilities located in eastern Libya, is not ruled out. The situation is extremely complicated by the fact that it is all the neighbors of Libya, including the "miniature" Malta, that are now overwhelmed by Libyan refugees, and their number continues to grow.
Characteristically, the reception of Libyan refugees has to deal primarily with those countries that are not represented in Berlin today. But, most likely, this factor is not at all the main one in the context of the Berlin summit. For example, in addition to African neighbors, Greece is also absent from the forum, where the number of Libyan refugees is also growing.
But this is only in the first place, and secondly - the maritime borders of Greece, the Republic of Cyprus and Libya, more precisely, the former Libya, are mutually adjacent over a very considerable distance (over 430 km). Finally, thirdly, and perhaps the most important thing: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on the eve of the Berlin forum that Athens would veto any political decision on Libya if the separate memorandum of understanding between Ankara and " by the pro-Turkish General F. Sarraj on the delimitation of maritime zones between Turkey and Libya (November 2019).
Recall, this memorandum provides for the inclusion in the sea zone of Turkey's economic interests of more than 70% of the total, moreover, very significant reserves of gas and oil in the north-eastern part of the offshore border area of the former Libya. During the reign of Colonel Gaddafi, the borders in this sea area were only planned to be “clarified” at the beginning of the 2010s at the negotiations between Tripoli, Athens, Nicosia and Ankara.
Libyan domestic interest
As for Libya itself, here, of course, the struggle for its colossal oil and gas resources (including marine) is intensifying. Partially orphaned, partially redistributed between the warring factions shortly after the overthrow and assassination of Muammar Gaddafi (2012).
At the same time, the West is really seriously interested in using, rather than freezing, these resources, primarily to curb rising oil prices. At the same time, for Russian business, and along with Saudi Arabia, a real incentive to control the same hydrocarbon bins is the opportunity to gain leverage to further increase these prices.
Turkey is a completely different matter. This country, an importer of oil and gas, has long wanted to “stock up” (also for free) at least part of Libyan resources. Probably, the forgotten Turkish nostalgia for Libya also works, which until 1912 was a colony of the Ottoman Empire, after the fall of which until the mid-40s came under the complete control of Italy.
And really - who now pay in Libya, which has actually broken up, for its oil and gas? Like in the film “The White Sun of the Desert” (1969), when the leader of the Basmachi-smugglers answered the question “Did you take a lot of goods, Abdullah?” And all without a duty, ”he reasonably specified:“ But who should pay? There is no customs, everyone fled. ”
Recall that under Muammar Gaddafi back in the early 70s of the last century, all the country's raw materials and their infrastructure were nationalized. Colonel and enlightened dictator Gaddafi, unlike representatives of the pro-Western Libyan monarchy, who ruled from 1951 to 1969, did not give out oil and gas (and other raw materials) concessions to foreigners.
This practice concerned even friendly countries, including the USSR and China. Since the mid-80s, Libya began to increase the production and export of various oil and gas products, moreover, based on the development of its own industries for the technological support of the oil and gas industry.
Today in Libya there is not only the oil and gas processing industry, there is none at all. But does it simplify negotiations on a settlement in the country?