VIDEO: Nayed Says Egyptian Moves Are Legitimate; Confirms Bashagha is Bullying Tripoli with his Syrian Militias – Al Marsad

The former Ambassador and Chairman of the Ihya Libya Movement, Dr Aref al-Nayed said that the statements of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Libya are profoundly significant, especially his assertion that any entry of the Egyptian army to Libya, if required, and exit therefrom will be upon Libyan orders.

“How can the Presidential Council implicate Libya in a situation where the Turkish Chief of Staff gives lectures inside the Mitiga base in Tripoli without a single Libyan attending? It is really surprising that when he went to Misrata and got off the helicopter, he went to the Turkish operations room and the GNA’s Minister of Interior [Fathi Bashagha] escorted him to the door and kept waiting until the Turkish Chief of Staff entered, met with the Turks, and gave them a speech in Turkish, then he went out and the Minister of Interior escorted him back to the plane in a view that reflects colonialism that the Libyans had not seen since 1910.” — Dr Aref Ali Nayed

(Libya, 17 July 2020) – Dr Aref al-Nayed said in an interview on Sky News Arabia channel on Thursday evening , that the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is sensitive to the feelings of the Libyan public and Libya’s sovereignty, and his speech differs from the “arrogant” one given by the Turkish Chief of Staff at Mitiga without the presence of any Libyan representative even from among his allies or agents in the Government of National Accord (GNA).

He pointed out that the meeting between the Egyptian President and the delegation of the Libyan tribes in Cairo included high-level tribal representation from all parts of the country.

Nayed reiterated that Libya has one legitimate House of Representatives (HOR) elected by the people and internationally recognized and that this elected HOR has one army and one government. “It is true that the GNA has international recognition, unfortunately, but it does not have the confidence of the HOR and has no recognition by the Libyan judiciary. It has lost more than 17 cases due to its lack of capacity.”

The Head of Ihya Libya Movement discussed the Turkish military presence in support of the GNA and the presence of the Turks, whom he described as “the occupiers” at the Mitiga and al-Watiya bases, referring to the GNA’s training of Syrian mercenaries dressed in the Libyan police uniform, in addition to the boasting by the GNA’s Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha of these Syrians mercenaries to bully the brave youth of Tripoli, Misrata, and Zawiya.

Regarding Erdogan’s actions towards what is going on in Libya, he said: “This is a pathological phenomenon. Erdogan does not hide his insatiable ambition not only in Libya but also in Tunisia, Algeria, and North Africa, through his references to the Ottoman legacy and Libyan people of Turkish origin and people of non-Turkish origin. These are new colonial gambits.”

Nayed emphasized that Erdogan’s actions prompted the President of the Libyan Parliament, Chancellor Aguila Saleh, to request intervention from Egypt when he addressed the Egyptian parliament as the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Armed Forces, indicating that this was not an unusual step that was followed by the Libyan HOR’s letter on the thirteenth of this month, as well as the visit of the tribal sheikhs today.

Regarding the role of the tribes in Libya, Nayed said: “The majority of the population in Libya, even in the cities and the capital Tripoli, is tribal. No one can deny the role of the tribes and their sheikhs who authorized the Libyan army, supported it, and persuaded their children to fight for Libya to free it from the grip of terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the central bank.”

He denied the concept that the role of the tribes undermines the state, and stressed that it in fact strengthens it. He asserted that the Libyan HOR said its word, but its social incubator is very important as indicated by Chancellor Saleh in his speech at the beginning of last Ramadan on the social fabric and its profound role in reforming the conditions in the country, changing the Presidential Council, and establishing a national government.

“Without this popular incubator, the HOR cannot be effective and the Libyan army cannot win. Therefore, this role is very important, and whoever denies it neither understands the history of Libya nor its social fabric,” indicated Nayed.

In response to a question about the expected Egyptian intervention after the request by Chancellor Aguila Saleh during his speech at the Egyptian Parliament and the request of the tribes in Sidi Barrani, he said: “All options have become open and available, and in my personal opinion, it is sufficient for Egypt to give air cover and secure regional waters against Turkish battleships along with technical support to the Libyan army. The Libyans can defend their country and the Libyan tribes have a long history of doing that.”

He added: “We are not talking about an Egyptian invasion. The Egyptian President has been clear about that. He did not talk about an Egyptian occupation, as the Turkish media claim in Tripoli, unfortunately. Using the capabilities of the Egyptian army has become important and necessary after the Turkish intervention and the military imbalance it caused due to the drones, advanced materiel, radars, jamming, and air defenses. This prompted the Libyan National Army to withdraw from Tripoli, Tarhouna, and Bani Walid after it was six kilometers away from the center of the capital. This has made the GNA, especially the Muslim Brotherhood’s group led by Khaled al-Mishri, feel arrogant. The latter started talking about the extension of the GNA’s authority over the entire Libyan soil. They will never ever attain that.”

During the interview, the Head of Ihya Libya described the Egyptian red lines in Sirte and al-Jufra as defensive lines, adding that this does not mean that the Libyan army will stand at these lines if there was an attack on Sirte or al-Jufra. The armed forces will advance beyond those lines and will not exclude any city or region, including Misrata, Tripoli, Zuwara, or any other city, clarified Nayed.

Al-Nayed also emphasized that Libya is part of the League of Arab States (LAS) and there is a joint defense agreement between the Arab countries, expressing deep regret for the lack of its operationalization.
He said that the Arab countries have the duty to defend each other against any foreign invasion. “The Turkish invasion is a foreign invasion that must be resisted by all Arabs, not only by Egypt, but also by Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, and Sudan and all other Arab countries that must align with the honorable Egyptian position.”

He referred to the joint defense agreements with Egypt during the era of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which are still valid and can be activated, considering that the request of the elected HOR and its Speaker, the Supreme Commander of the Libyan Armed Forces, support Egypt’s position from the legal point of view.

He linked the Chancellor Aguila Saleh as President of the Libyan Parliament asking Egypt to intervene with the historical relations during the reign of Prince Idriss Al-Senussi, who became the King of Libya, who stayed in Egypt for many years. He indicated that the Egyptian support for him was one of the most important elements for the establishment of the Libyan kingdom, adding: “Al-Senussi army, which became the nucleus of the Libyan army, was established in Egypt before the establishment of the Libyan state. The Egyptian support for the Libyan army has been a reality throughout the tenure of the Kingdom and also in the early seventies. It is natural for this neighbor to support Libya as we expect from all neighboring countries to follow suit.”

On the level reached by the Turkish intervention and its control of Tripoli, he said that Fayez al-Sarraj’s procurement of the Turks made them run things in Tripoli, referring to the “huge” delegation that visited it headed by the intelligence chief and the spokesman of the Turkish presidency. “They brought their economic experts and representatives of Turkish banks, including the manager of Ziraat Bank, who came to collect “al-Miri” as we call it, or the old Ottoman tax anew.”

Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Chairman of the Ihya Libya Movement

Nayed considered the Muslim Brotherhood’s project in Libya had taken root and controlled the joints of the state, and therefore the Libyan people and army had to save the country from this quagmire, indicating that the request of the elected HOR for the Egyptian army to intervene is world’s apart from concluding international agreements that the HOR has never ratified. Indeed, the HOR did not endorse Sarraj’s government, even though he submitted two governments but both did not have confidence. Thus, all the agreements he concluded are null under the law, said Nayed.

“How can the Presidential Council implicate Libya in a situation where the Turkish Chief of Staff gives lectures inside the Mitiga base in Tripoli without a single Libyan attending? It is really surprising that when he went to Misrata and got off the helicopter, he went to the Turkish operations room and the GNA’s Minister of Interior [Fathi Bashagha] escorted him to the door and kept waiting until the Turkish Chief of Staff entered, met with the Turks, and gave them a speech in Turkish, then he went out and the Minister of Interior escorted him back to the plane in a view that reflects colonialism that the Libyans had not seen since 1910,” said Nayed regrettably.

On his assignment by the HOR’s Speaker as an Envoy to the European and African Unions and the United States, al-Nayed said: “All these countries recognize the legitimacy of the Libyan HOR, receive its Speaker as if he were a head of state, and pay him visits at his headquarters in al-Qubbah. We strive to consolidate and strengthen these relationships but, regrettably, some countries have interests with a government that signs on blank cheques. It has done that for Italy and Turkey and signed agreements that the HOR does not accept. This is in the interest of some countries, unfortunately, but we appeal to the League of Arab States to take the initiative and withdraw its recognition of this unjust and illegitimate Presidential Council.”

The Head of Ihya Libya concluded by referring to the possibility of reaching a political solution by saying: “This is possible only if the GNA removes those 12,000 Turkish mercenaries, most of whom are terrorists who are now being trained in the uniforms of the Libyan police and army. They should return to where they came from. If Erdogan admires them that much, let him take them to Turkey. The GNA should also ask the Turkish army and operations rooms colonizing our Libyan bases to leave. Then, there will be a political solution. Otherwise, there will never be a political solution.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)