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The ‘CIA Man’ In Libya Securing Oil Supply

In a sharp reversal of longstanding US policy which recognizes only the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli as the legitimate authority over Libya, the White House on Friday said President Trump spoke by phone this week to Benghazi based commander Khalifa Haftar, pledging support to the general and his Libyan National Army (LNA) as it lays siege to the capital.

The White House statement said Trump “recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.”

Haftar

Khalifa Haftar, center, leader of the Libyan National Army, via AFP/Getty

The call took place on Monday, but was only revealed at the end of this week amid ongoing fighting in and around Tripoli, under assault for the past two weeks by Haftar's forces, which early this month led to the withdrawal of a contingency of US Marines, citing the deteriorating security situation.

The White House readout said the two discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.”

Interestingly in early April Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had urged in a statement for Haftar to halt his advance: “We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Pompeo said at the time.

Haftar — who solidified control of Eastern Libya over the past two years and swept through the south in January, seeks to capture Tripoli and seize military control of the entire country, and has over the past weeks made inroads into the capital.

Related: China’s Newest Oil Hotspot Is In America’s Backyard

He's long been described by many analysts as "the CIA's man in Libya" — given he spent a couple decades living in exile a mere few minutes from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia during Gaddafi's rule.

On Thursday the US and Russia blocked a UN Security Council effort to call for a ceasefire in Libya — this as air power has recently been used during increasingly intense fighting in Tripoli. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fighting between the LNA and GNA has resulted in 205 deaths and 900 wounded, with about 20 civilians among the dead.

Given Trump's praise of Haftar for "securing Libya’s oil resources" in the telephone call this week, it appears that the renegade Libyan general has indeed been "the CIA's man in Libya" this whole time.

By Zerohedge.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 21 2019 said:
    Since 2011 the Libyan people have been suffering severe hardships and misery as a result of the joint military intervention by the United States, UK and France (or shall we say NATO) in Libya supposedly in support of the Libyan people rising against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. So to the Libyan people, it makes no difference to them whether their saviour is a CIA man or Russia-backed. They only want an end to the civil war ravishing their country and their lives since 2011.

    However, a sharp reversal of longstanding US policy which recognizes only the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli as the legitimate authority over Libya to pledging support to Benghazi-based Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) is motivated by the need for Libya’s oil supplies to keep oil prices down for the 2020 US presidential elections. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ending the suffering of the Libyan people. Under the Trump administration’s foreign policy, self-interest also trumps morality.

    That basically what was behind President Trump’s telephone call to the Field Marshal Hafter on Monday praising him for securing Libya’s oil resources.

    Libya’s oil production has been at the edge of collapse since 2011. In 2010 Libya produced 1.66 million barrels a day (mbd) and exported 1.25 mbd to the EU countries. But since 2011, oil production has been erratic ranging from an estimated 300,000 barrels a day (b/d) to almost 1 mbd in 2018 with most of the major facilities, oilfields and exporting terminal disrupted from time to time.

    At 48 billion barrels (bb), Libya ranks ninth in the world in terms of proven oil reserves and the largest in Africa. Moreover, oil revenue accounts for 98% of Libya’s national budget.

    And while Muammar Gaddafi was a dictator, he at least provided stability and unity in Libya. However, he earned the ire of western oil majors (and by extension their governments) with his extremely tough terms for production-sharing agreements in Libya. But he particularly burnt his bridges with the United States when he proposed a gold-backed African currency that would be traded for African oil instead of the petrodollar.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Nikos Retsos on April 22 2019 said:
    Khalifa Hiftar is certainly the CIA's man to take over Libya and exploit its oil. We see what happens in Venezuela because China exploits its oil. The U.S. has gone so far in Venezuela as to appoint and recognize as president Mr. Guido, a U.S.puppet. Khalifa Hiftar has been a former CIA mercenary in Chad, but that mission failed, and Hiftar took residence in the U.S. as CIA mercenary pensioner - like the late Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani, not a CIA mercenary, but on a deal to curb the Kurdish rebellion and help Turkey - a U.S. ally- weaken the Kurdish effort to liberate Kurdistan, under a United Nations mandate in 1922. The point? Yes, foreign interests will prevail, because Khalifa Hiftar's is not an internal revolution for democracy, but foreign interests trying to install their dictator and exploit its oil cheaply in return of helping him staying in power - like the late Shah Reza Pahlevi of Iran. Nikos Retsos, retired professor of Political Sciences, USA.

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