Thursday, 15 March 2012

GCC continue to support the new Libya; albeit selectively

The closeness of the connections between Libya's rebels and the UAE developed early during the war, and particularly in relation to the supply of weapons to the rebel forces. The assistance came at the very beginning of hostilities when the fate of the coast road on the eastern side of the Gulf of Sirte was under severe pressure from Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi forces. The thanks for this assistance from the UAE were conveyed to the retiring UAE ambassador to Libya, Sultan Rashid al-Kaytoub, who was speaking on 11 March during a farewell call on the National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

The Emirates, but mainly Qatar, chose to play an overtly pro- revolutionary role at a time of great need. The immediate delivery of tanks and armoured personnel carriers to strengthen the revolutionary forces was very effective. Since then, Qatar has retained a special position of influence, albeit less publicly than before. The Qatari connection with, and support for, Libya's Islamists has, however, not been universally popular. Some Libyan analysts argue that the Qatari government are well intentioned but that it has been somewhat naïve, and has been unduly influenced by expatriate Libyans who have persuade Doha to support a couple of post-revolutionary political parties to the exclusion of others.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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