Libyan front: Erdogan and Sarraj’s meeting, the GNA’s advancement, Haftar in Egypt
On June 4, the Government of National Accord secured complete control of Tripoli. Last week, the GNA launched a large offensive on the LNA – as a result on June 6, the GNA entered Sirte (the hometown of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi). The LNA captured Sirte in January 2020 during it’s offensive on Tripoli. The zone, which lies beyond Sirte, is strategically important for the control of the country’s oil.
On June 3, the delegation of GNA (Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council and Deputy Chairman of Libya’s Government of National Accord Ahmed Maiteeq and GNA Foreign Minister Mohammed Siala) held a meeting in Moscow with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov. “The participants of the meeting underlined the necessity of the diplomatic regulation of the crisis. In reviewing Russian-Libyan relations, Sergey Lavrov confirmed the willingness of Russian businesses to resume activities in Libya upon normalization of the military-political situation. Libya was once again asked to free, as soon as possible and without preconditions, Russian citizens Maxim Shugaley and Samer Sueifan who were arrested in Tripoli in May 2019. It was stated that the Russian citizens remaining in prison in Tripoli are the main obstacle to the progress of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries”.
On June 5, Turkish president Erdogan met the head of GNA al-Sarraj in Ankara. “Turkey and Libya plan to deepen cooperation, including on exploration and drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean,” noted Turkish President. He also said that the “putschist; Haftar and his supporters are the biggest obstacle to peace in Libya”.
“We will never leave our Libyan brothers at the mercy of putschists and mercenaries,” Erdogan said.
“We’ve thanked Turkey for its historic and brave stance on Libya,” said Libyan PM Sarraj said at the meeting. He added that GNA will continue “the struggle until we eliminate the enemy in Libya’’. He noted that the complete liberation of Tripoli and its surroundings was the ‘victory of all of us”.
On June 6, the president of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced a unilateral initiative to end the conflict in Libya. The plan was supported by Haftar and Aguilla Saleh (President of the Libyan House of Representatives). Al-Sisi marked that the ‘Cairo Declaration’ includes a cease-fire from Monday (June 8). The “Cairo Declaration” proposes to resume under the control of the UN negotiations of representatives of the LNA and the GNA in Geneva (5+5 format, proposed on the last Berlin Talks), to establish transitional political structures and then hold general elections in Libya. The initiative also proposes to withdraw all foreign military forces from Libya and strict adherence to the UN arms embargo against Libya. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan welcomed the Cairo Declaration.
من المحزن والمؤسف أن نرى مثل هذه المؤتمرات الصحفية التي يسعى منظموها بكل ما أوتوا من قوة لنفخ الروح في ابدان قد ماتت و نفوس قد بليت.. اكرام الميت دفنه . pic.twitter.com/x1sj0xOW86
— Yasin Aktay 🇹🇷 (@yaktay) June 6, 2020
Sarraj rejected the Cairo Initiative and declared the continuation of the GNA offensive. On June 7, he spoke with Brigadier Ibrahim Bait Al-Mal, the Commander of the Sirte-Jufra Liberation Operations Room and noted that the struggle against “the criminal gangs criminal gangs and mercenaries who came to Libya from far and wide” (referring to the Libyan Armed Forces).
Hong-Kong Protests on the background of COVID-19 lockdown
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, protests started up again in Hong-Kong. To mark the anniversary of 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the memorial protests were organized on June 4 despite the Social Distancing Measures and the prohibition of gathering of more than 8 people together, which were extended till June 18. On June 4, the Hong Kong parliament passed a law criminalizing disrespect for the Chinese anthem. Violators face a $6,000 fine or three years in prison.
Another law that has angered the residents of the city is still being drafted, but there is little doubt among locals that it will be passed, bypassing the Legislative Assembly. In late May, at a session of the Chinese parliament – the National People’s Congress – discussed a document that will open Hong Kong to Chinese intelligence services. Currently, Beijing officially solves only foreign policy and defense issues, otherwise the city is autonomous. The new bill would change that situation. Donald Trump called the new initiative a tragedy.
“This is a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, the people of China and indeed the people of the world,” Trump said.
Protests in the US: whose lives matter?
Riots and looting have become an integral part of the mass protests in the United States caused by the death of African American George Floyd. Actions against racism and police brutality quickly took a radical turn.
The Minneapolis chief of police just confirmed that many of the protesters that are burning down the city are NOT FROM MINNEAPOLIS.
My guess: As he did with Antifa, Democrat George Soros has these thugs on payroll.
He is funding the chaos via his Open Society Foundation. pic.twitter.com/ZWDQfLUjfa
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) May 28, 2020
The protests became a new field of struggle between Republicans and Democrats, partly displacing the Coronavirus Pandemic from the agenda and dividing the country into two camps. The first one, led by President Donald Trump, condemned the riots and demanded the suppression of protests by the National Guard, while the second has attempted to justify the violence and channel it into support for the Democratic party.
Democratic mayors and governors are against taking harsh measures against the protesters, who are vandalizing shops and setting police cars on fire. One such example was the “surrender” of the Minneapolis police station – the city from which the demonstrations began – as a result of which activists looted and burned down the building.
On June 7, the Minneapolis city council majority even mulled the possibility of disbanding the police in the city and replacing them with an “alternative model of community-led safety”.
A majority of city council members in Minneapolis pledged to disband the city's police department in favor of a community-led model as protests continued across the U.S. over the weekend https://t.co/GwSKToG4Nt pic.twitter.com/rGvP70bnWd
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 8, 2020
The “left-wing radicalization” of the demonstrations is condoned by the media loyal to the Democratic Party, which partially represents the rebels in an attractive light. CNN, in particular, often covers the protests positively, selectively filtering out some of the more egregious crimes while reinforcing the justification for the protesters’ anger.
The outbreak of violence takes place against the backdrop of the Coronavirus Pandemic, which left 40 million Americans unemployed and hit the US economy hard. The number of detected cases of the virus in the country has approached 2 million, and the number of deaths has exceeded 112,000.
The main movement which organized the series of protests, Black Lives Matter, is linked to George Soros. The former congressional candidate De Anna Lorraine noted that it’s important to start a ‘SorosGate’ investigation.
Make no mistake – this is a Takeover. We are being invaded from within.
— DeAnna Lorraine 🇺🇸 (@DeAnna4Congress) May 30, 2020
Soros is getting desperate pic.twitter.com/mar8hFycrL
— James Famularo (@jfamularo) May 30, 2020
Hi Candace, Mr. Soros and the Open Society Foundations oppose all violence and do not pay people to protest.
We lament the effort, through baseless allegations, to distract from the crisis of police brutality in Minneapolis and in too many other parts of the country.
— Open Society Foundations (@OpenSociety) May 28, 2020
The Open Society Foundation rejected the information about the financial aid to the protesters. But it’s worth noting that in 2015, Soros donated $33 million to social justice organizations which helped turn the events in Ferguson from a local protest into a national flashpoint.
The Kurdish front: is the US moving back into the region?
A political association of 25 parties, including the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has been established in Northern Syria. The main purpose of this association, called the “Kurdish National Unity Parties”, is to establish political consolidation, primarily of the Kurdish movement in Northern Syria. As PYD spokesman Salih Muslim noted: “The disunity of the Kurds in Northern Syria harms everyone. Among the parties and movements that have joined this political association are both Arab and Syrian political structures. At the same time, it is also known that these political movements were related to the self-proclaimed administration and the PYD in Northern Syria in 2014”.
The names of the parties joining the new structure are as follows:
– Kurdistan Democratic Peace Party
– Democratic Union Party (PYD)
– Kongra Star
– Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party (P.D.K.S)
– Kurdistan Green Party
– Kurdish Democratic Left Party in Syria
– Kurdish Left Party in Syria
– Kurdistan Liberal Party
– Kurdistan Brotherhood Party (PBK)
– The Kurdish National Party in Syria
– Kurdistan Democratic Change Party
– The Modern Kurdistan-Syria Movement
– The Democratic Struggle Party
– Free Kurdistan Freedom Party
– Free West National Union Party
– Republican Party of Kurdistan-Syria
– Reform Movement-Syria
– Kurdistan Communist Party (KKP)
– Democratic Sun Party in Syria
– The Future Movement of Kurdistan
– Kurdistan Democratic Party-Syria
– Kurdistan Workers’ Union (YKK)
– Kurdistan National Assembly Party
– Kurdish Democratic Reconciliation Party in Syria
– Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (Party)
A senior advisor to the US special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, during an online event organized by the Turkish pro-government SETA Foundation in Washington on Wednesday, stated that the US supports intra-Kurdish dialogue talks recently held by Kurdish parties in Syria.
Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu declared: “Amid efforts to create a statelet [in eastern Syria], now US efforts to integrate [the YPG] into the political systems are proceeding. In particular, they are trying to integrate the YPG with the SKNC.” He added, “We won’t allow the creation of a terror corridor, and we will not allow the legitimization of terrorists there.”
At the same time, according to sources, US presence in Northern Syria was widened in May: on May 10, the Pentagon began transferring its military personnel, munitions and military equipment from Iraq to the Al-Hasakah region (which is under the control of PYD/PKK).