Lobbying efforts in Washington to push US to revise its Libyan strategy
In an article published with Al-Monitor on 4 February, Jack Detsch reported that Libyan business man Hassan Tatanaki, has recently registered a new political party, the « Libyan United Democratic Party », to lobby the Donald Trump administration to get more involved in the efforts to address the Libyan crisis. According to the article, Tatanaki, who also serves as the chairman of the oilfield drilling company Challenger Limited, has ties to both the Gaddafi family and Eastern Libya based General Haftar and as such poses as an influential figure in Libyan affairs. For Detsch, Tatanaki’s lobbying efforts fit into a wider initiative to influence the United States to revise its Libyan strategy, at a time when there have been many voices criticizing the lack of results of the UN Special Mission to Libya headed by Special Envoy Ghassan Salame. For Jason Pack, founder of Libya-Analysis cited by Detsch,
Every top Libyan player, even obscure deputy ministers come to Washington. They somehow think that telling a low-level commerce official that Libya is open for business will trickle into policymaking.
Last week, reports indicated that Salame intended to postpone the organisation of a National Conference in Libya and consequently the organisation of elections as well. Detsch reports that in 2017, expenses related to lobbying for a greater US intervention in Libya amounted to $590,000. Among the lobbyists, General Haftar himself, who reportedly retained the services of Washington-based lobby Grassroots Political Consulting in 2017.
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