A preparatory forum will be held beforehand for what is expected to be a project "broadly representative of all parties"

Libya prepares for the launch of National Reconciliation Project

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibé during a press conference

The days of instability in Libya could be numbered. At least that is what is expected with the National Reconciliation Project announced by the Libyan Presidential Council. The preparatory forum for this project, which is expected to be "broadly representative of all parts and regions of Libya", will take place in the coming days. The Council itself reported that Vice-President Abdullah Al-Lafi met yesterday afternoon with the Chairman of the National Planning Council, Moftah Ahrair, and the head of the National Reconciliation Project Follow-up Committee, Ayman Seif Al-Nasr, at the office of the Presidential Council in Tripoli. 

Al-Lafi said that since the initiative was launched months ago, the pace of progress has been steady, and this pre-approval forum is expected to be the cornerstone of the project. It should not be forgotten that all these efforts could be derailed by Khalifa Haftar's calls for a "peaceful uprising", as he believes that "we gave the political leaders space to agree to end the political deadlock, but they failed".

Jalifa Hafter

The vision of the army as the only solution to the situation in Libya is one of the major drawbacks to the project, which is expected to start as soon as possible. Jaftar, however, sees the need for the people to "take control and move forward in building a civil state based on freedom, justice and equality". The "impasse" of which the marshal speaks requires a solution as soon as possible, and while he continues to opt for the most radical path, the politicians are now launching an initiative that will finally stabilise the country, which they have not managed to do despite numerous efforts. 

In this context of changes and proposals, Libya's bid to host the trans-Saharan gas pipeline appears on the horizon, which has caught more than a few people off guard. The Government of National Unity (GNU) announced last month that it had put itself forward as one of the options during the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) ministerial summit. Tripoli's proposal, although unexpected, offers better conditions than Algeria's, at least in geographical terms, which translates into significant savings in construction costs and time.


However, the Libyan plans, despite the advantages they offer, also have some drawbacks intrinsic to the country itself. Political instability is one of the most obvious difficulties for the possible agreement for the construction of the pipeline, which would be an undeniable boost for Tripoli due to the value of the pipeline, estimated at around 13 billion euros. The rift between the GUN and the NSG (Government of National Stability) complicates any agreement with external actors, especially as long as Abdul Hamid Dbeibé continues to cling to the post he was due to leave in February and to clash with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, who has close ties to Khalifa Haftar. 

Unsurprisingly, Libya is not the only country seeking to take over this lucrative project. Morocco and Algeria have both signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria, although what is certain is that only one of the two will go ahead due to the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Rabat and Algiers in August last year. Among these, it is Algiers that has the relative advantage thanks to the shorter length of the infrastructure compared to the Moroccan proposal, in addition to the fact that, in the case of Algeria, it would only have to pass through Niger.


To take advantage of this situation, one of the regional actors that, sooner or later, always ends up making an appearance in almost every issue that surrounds its borders appears. Turkey could be the main driving force behind the Libyan proposal, with whom a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Dbeibé government in recent days. According to the daily Al Arab, it could be Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself who is using his influence to put pressure on Abuja. The explanation for this move lies in the important benefit that the energy nexus between Europe and Africa that the materialisation of this agreement could bring to Turkish businessmen.