Can Libya Find Unity Through Oil?
Jason Pack writes an opinion piece for Al-Monitor discussing how the lifting of force majeure, and the staggered resumption of oil exports from the oil crescent after Haftar’s takeover, could provide a lifeline to Libya’s economy and potentially an incentive for rival factions to work together for the benefit of Libya.
Libya’s economy is in dire straits, and the cash from oil exports is needed to support the foundations of a coherent Libyan government. Hence, it now appears that all the mainstream players are willing to accommodate whatever solution can get crude flowing — putting funds into Libya’s balance sheet.
On the one hand, this is quite an about-face. Over the last months, the West has largely opposed Hifter, driving him further into the embrace of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the other hand, it appears that a covert meeting was held in Tunis, Tunisia, on Sept. 8 where Western powers and Hifter’s envoys discussed the importance of safeguarding the oil ports. It is possible that an understanding was reached vis-a-vis Hifter’s securing the oil ports against both the Islamic State and Jadhran. Or, more probably, no concrete understanding was reached, but both sides understood a shared interest — and each began to act accordingly.
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