On April 4, the Libyan capital, Tripoli, witnessed armed clashes between groups affiliated with the "Al-Nawasi" militia and others affiliated with the "Stability Support Apparatus " led by "Abdul-Ghani Al-Kikli" (known as Ghaniwa). Some local reports have monitored two deaths and five injuries as a result of these confrontations, which took place on Al-Suraim Street in the center of Tripoli.

Analysis:

-  The “Stability Support Apparatus” militia is organizationally affiliated with the Presidential Council, while the “Al-Nawasi Militia” is affiliated with the Ministry of Interior of the outgoing Government of National Unity. However, the recent period has witnessed intense moves by “Abdul Hamid al- Dbeiba” to strengthen his relations with “Abdul-Ghani al-Kikli,” the head of the militia of the “Stability Support Apparatus” to ensure the consolidation of its authority in Tripoli, and this may explain the agency’s announcement that the clashes that took place in Tripoli on April 4 are nothing more than “simple” disputes, in an attempt to calm the atmosphere and hint that there are no internal differences between the loyalists of Dbeiba.

-  it s noteworthy that "Abdul-Ghani al-Kikli" had assumed the leadership of the militias that gathered on the borders of the capital, Tripoli, on March 10, based on the instructions of Dbeiba, to prevent the head of the new Libyan government, "Fathi Bashagha" from entering Tripoli.

-  A report issued by the "Africa Intelligence" website indicated that despite the strong relations that link Dbeiba to "Al-Kakli", the latter still keeps the lines of communication open with "Bashaga", which makes the scenario of a change in the nature of the current alliances. It is standing strong, especially in light of the changes that have begun to occur in the position of the international and regional actors which tend to support the new Libyan government headed by "Fathi Bashagha".

Expectations:

- The recent clashes in Tripoli come within the framework of the usual confrontations between militias deployed in the Libyan capital, which are mainly related to the struggle for influence and resources.

- Tripoli is likely to witness a recurrence of these clashes in the coming period, in light of the fragility of the current alliances that Dbeiba relies on to maintain power, especially with the multiple reports indicating the existence of current talks between the new Libyan Prime Minister, "Fatehi Bashagha" and several leaders of armed groups in Tripoli trying to reach agreement , as well as there are some indications of possible changes in the Turkish position towards the Dbeiba, and Ankara's direction to support the "Bashaga" government, which could rearrange the map of militia alliances in Tripoli.
 

 

Some research centers and think tanks have published a number of reports and papers regarding the three summits that were held recently in the middle east, namely Sharm el-Sheikh summit between President El-Sisi, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and the Negev Summit that brought together the foreign ministers of Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Israel and the US and the Palestinian-Jordanian Summit in Ramallah. The general trends of the reports were as follows:

Jordan is more willing to engage in the peace process despite absence from the Negev Summit:

- In a brief analysis issued by the Washington Institute [1]confirmed that Jordan is one of the Arab countries most interested in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and it became more willing to engage with dynamics surrounding the Abraham Accords, the Arab-Israel normalization agreements. This development in the Jordanian position is driven by a number of reasons, perhaps the most prominent of which is the departure of Trump and Netanyahu and, the return of American support for the two-state solution, and the importance of addressing instability in the West Bank, especially with regard to the decline in the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority there, the worsening economic situation, and the violence of Israeli settlers. The report also included a set of recommendations for American policy. One of the most prominent of these recommendations is making use of Jordanian interest to support the US policy of addressing economic and security challenges with a focus on the two-state solution, and the importance of creating new incentives for Jordan to realize that Ibrahim accords are beneficial for them.

- On the other hand, the United States Institute of Peace [2] addressed the reason for Jordan’s absence from the Negev summit, and that it serves as a reminder that popular sentiments in the Arab world are still not compatible with the new situation, in terms of Israel’s involvement in the region’s dynamics, and that some leaders need to deal with caution, especially since the Palestinian issue still bears importance in the collective Arab consciousness.

The common denominator of Sharm el-Sheikh and Negev summits is the decline in trust in Washington:

-   Another report by the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies[3] indicated that Sharm el-Sheikh summit reflected interest in forming new regional alliances in light of the decline in American interest in the region, and the three countries’ need to address their common concerns and interests regarding the Iranian nuclear program, and to find a coherent position towards the possible return of the nuclear agreement. While Israel and the UAE reservations about some of the clauses in the agreement have been expressed publicly, the Egyptian interest is focused on increasing security coordination and preventing violent flare-ups, especially since the subversive activities of Iran and its proxies could disrupt the Suez Canal, which is an important source of foreign exchange earnings. At the same time, another report published by the Indian Observer Research foundation[4] discussed the Russian-Ukrainian war as the most recent factor regarding the widening gap between the White House and the Gulf states.

-   A report published in the Washington Institute[5] indicated that the Negev Summit is a way to demonstrate the importance and priority of the region for the United States, while at the same time demonstrating the state of rejection of American policies and reactions, at a time when Israel shows understanding and offers assistance more than United States. Another report of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies[6] confirmed that Tel Aviv is trying to take advantage of this situation with Washington's allies in the region in order to achieve its interests represented in establishing new regional arrangements targeting Iran, in which it is a partner alongside the major Arab countries, led by Egypt, The UAE and Saudi Arabia, given that Egypt does not have the same sharp stance towards Iran as its Gulf allies and Israel. Nevertheless, Egypt considers Iran a serious threat to the stability of the region as a whole.

The growing Israeli role:

-  A report by the Washington Institute [7]emphasized that the Negev Summit is evidence of the growing Israeli role in the region, especially as it adopts an active policy and is ready to take concrete measures against Iran, such as supporting the UAE and Saudi Arabia in confronting Houthi threats, at a time when Washington does not respond to the attacks. In fact, Tehran has become more afraid of Tel Aviv than Washington, and despite the fact of the increasing importance of Israel, a large part of this importance lies in its special relationship with the United States, and the Arabs do not see it as an alternative to the American power. It is not a superpower, but it is trying to fill the void created by Washington's retreat from the region.

- Eurasia Review[8] indicated that Tel Aviv's increasing importance lies not only in its military and technological ability to confront Iran, but it is also the only country in the Middle East that has a large popular base in the United States, and this gives it an influence that no other country can obtain even by spending millions of dollars on public relations services and pressure companies. Also, Washington’s decreased interest in the region does not include Israel, because it will still retain American interest in full. At the same time the magazine is indicates that it’s more likely that Israel will play important roles in addressing issues of relations between the United States and various Arab countries such as arms sales.

- In a report published by the Indian Observer Research Institute[9] assesses that the current manifestations of Arab-Israeli rapprochement, especially the Negev summit, do not necessarily reflect the ability to continue it, as the regional arrangements are currently fragile that it can be lost away in regional turmoil.

The growing importance of the Middle East due to the Ukrainian war:

- Eurasia Review[10] confirmed that the Ukrainian crisis has restored importance to the Middle East, whether it is related to the diversification of oil and gas supplies to Europe, or the impact of the Middle East on security outside its borders, and the importance of maintaining its stability in light of the escalation of opposition in various Middle Eastern countries due to the high prices of basic commodities, while the Washington Institute report[11] focused on the marginalization of the region in the foreign policy of United States which has  led to the failure of the US to gain a supportive stance from the  leaders of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Russian-Ukrainian war, as the refused Biden’s call to increase oil production. This situation is a warning to Washington that neglecting the region has disastrous consequences. At the same time, a report by the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies[12] focused on Washington's allies in the region, they will seek to maintain room for maneuvering and hedging between Russia and the West, in light of their growing security and economic interests toward Moscow.

 

 


[1] Washington Institute for Near East Policy: https://cutt.us/6E7Nc

[2] United States Institute of Peace: https://cutt.us/6yVSf

[3] The Institute for National Security Studies: https://cutt.us/IFpgE

[4] Observer Research Foundation: https://cutt.us/xL4IL

[5] Washington Institute for Near East Policy: https://cutt.us/VjtEK

[6] The Institute for National Security Studies: https://cutt.us/J0bBO

[7] Institute for Near East Policy: https://cutt.us/VjtEK

[8] Eurasia Review: https://cutt.us/qS45O

[9] Observer Research Foundation: https://cutt.us/xL4IL

[10] Eurasia Review: https://cutt.us/qS45O

[11] Washington Institute for Near East Policy: https://cutt.us/VjtEK

[12] Washington Institute for Near East Policy: https://cutt.us/VjtEK