Sunday 23 October 2011 12:54
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'West after vast Libyan oil reserves'
Interview with Hisham Jabir, Director at Centre for Middle East Studies
Islam Times - Some European counties along with the United States of America are prone to grasp at the oil of Libya right after Gaddafi's death.
Islam Times: Press TV has interviewed with Hisham Jabir, director at Centre for Middle East Studies, to share his opinion on this issue.

Press TV: Mr. Jabir, our previous guest was talking about the oil wealth as well mainly. How do you think the oil wealth will be distributed in Libya?

Jabir: Yes, we learned three months ago that France will have between 30 and 35 percent of the Libyan oil as a share, it was clear and the newspapers and the French President Sarkozy did not deny this. It was an agreement between France and the United States. Of course The United States is very interested to have its own share and to control the whole Libyan oil and to distribute the gate between itself and its allies like the British and the French also, and of course, the Italian. And you know that the Libyan oil is very, very important for Europe.

First of all the quality of this oil and second, you know, the distance between Libya and Europe that makes very easy without additional cost, you know, for the transportation. So the United States is aware of this and from the beginning did promise its allies to have their shares and I think the oil as we said will be distributed between the United States and France, of course, the third all thirty percent, maybe, and Italy will have its share and, of course, Great Britain, those countries which really have a significant role in the NATO.

And if you hear yesterday, the French Minister of defense who came and made declaration and said that the French air force did distract the convoy of Gaddafi. Like he said to everyone that we have our role and we played a significant role against Gaddafi. And here, I have to, if you allow me, to rewind and go back to the beginning.

At the beginning of the revolution as you know, the NTC and the revolution did control the half of the Libyan territory, at least within one month. Then Gaddafi made a contract and he did control in the third month the whole Libyan territory.

And only Benghazi was out of the authority of Colonel Gaddafi. Then the resolution 1973 came and military intervention of the NATO and it saved the revolution. It's clear. And we said at that time it is 5 hours between Adjabi and Benghazi to save the revolution otherwise the revolution will be finished.

Ok, I will say something that the NATO, you know, within all those 8 months, played 3, there are three stations and first of all, well it saved Benghazi, then within 4 months the NATO did not play any significant or concrete, you know, military role because Gaddafi's forces were stayed in Libya and the intervention of NATO also helped to take over Tripoli. Then the last one yesterday when they killed Gaddafi.

Now we have to be clear about it and the NATO, and especially, the forces like the French and the British which played a significant role, of course, you asked me about the oil, not only the oil, we are talking about the oil and after the oil we have the contracting, you know. Libya is destroyed completely, and they have to make agreement to rebuild Libya. Of course, those companies: French, British and maybe Italians also will have their shares.

Press TV: As Mr. Bollyn [the other guest of the program] was discussing, with Gaddafi's death many secrets have now been buried. What do you think?

Jabir: Yeah, of course. Everybody knows that Gaddafi played a very, you know, vague and unclear role within forty years and at the end of the day three years ago he opened all files, you know, to the United States and Condoleezza Rice came to Libya ,and 2 or 3 years ago, opened the embassy of the United States and he became of the closed allies and he gave the American the secret files, you know, of all national organization within three four decades was in relation with, and I think when the American find him expired, and like your guest said and he knows too much, and I think they took the opportunity not to arrest him but even to kill him.

And of course, there are many secrets that nobody knows about them in the last 3 or 4 decades and I think those secrets will be buried with Gaddafi now and nobody will open those files. Maybe one day the CIA files will be opened and historians will talk about it.

Now we are talking about new Libya. Gaddafi is finished, and to answer, also to comment on what your guest said, I don't think that Libya will be under the political influence of France or Great Britain. Of course, the new Libya will be under the political influence of the United States.

Great Britain and France will take their share, you know, economically, like oil contracts and also contracting agreement to rebuild Libya. Otherwise the United States will consider Libya a new center for its activity to control all North Africa. Maybe like somebody said yesterday, they will build a new American military base. If they don't do it, they will have a very important military or intelligence presence, and the new government in Libya, which we don't know, if we will have a new government, you know.

But anyway the new regime in Libya will be for sure and at least for the next ten years under American influence. That's sure because within 10 years, Libya will be rebuilt and right now, they think the priority of Libya is to take off weapons from the population, before those armed people will be militia and will have conflicts between tribes and between left and right wing, etc.

So we have to look the future to be suspicious and very careful about it without being optimistic or pessimistic.

Press TV: Well, Mr. Jabir what do you think? I mean how much will the NTC be able to fulfill his promises about bringing democracy to the country?

Jabir: Yeah, it's very difficult. I think we have a mixed salad right now in Libya. We have from the left wing to the right wing and we have nationalists, we have communists and we have Muslim fundamentalists and I don't know how they can have a government which represents all those factions without any conflict. And if we want to be optimistic, I think we have to start. The first priority is to have a new government and to rebuild the army from day one and to take off the weapons and I think in my opinion it's a very difficult mission.

Now we don't have to forget that the NATO will stay in Libya according, you know, to the agreement 90 days more, but we hear today that the NATO will decide today what the role of the military of the NATO is going to be in the next 3 months, which still the NATO has Monday to have activity in Libya. Within 3 months, I think if the NATO wants to do something positive to help this NTC or the new government to have new authority and to keep peace in Libya. Otherwise, the NATO doesn't have anything to do and have to leave.

Press TV: You know Mr. Jabir. Let's look at another side of Libya. I mean let's look at the tribal facts, for instance. How will that play out in Libya? We know that the country consists of many tribes including the tribe of Muammar Gaddafi himself.

Jabir: Yes. I think those tribes are looking at the future and very suspicious. They still have their weapons and, of course, you have the tribe of Muammar Gaddafi and you have other big tribe, which is Al-Madadha. Those tribes are well-equipped, you know, and still have their weapons and they have to wait I think, in my opinion and not to deliver their weapons, you know, easily to the NTC. They have to wait and to see what happen in the country. If they feel that they will have their role in new regime and they will be protected and etc., maybe they will obey to the new government and be part of the new regime; otherwise, I believe and am almost sure that those tribes will be very careful, you know, before giving and deliver their weapons to the new regime.

And as you know, the tribe in Sirte did protect, you know, Gaddafi and played a role of mediator within the last few weeks, you know, before the revolution took Sirte because this Libya has many tribes and those tribes make Libya very complicated and you know besides those tribes you have Muslim fundamentalists and you have nationalists like Gomia and etc. you have left wing, you have right wing , you have many, many factions, you have to put all together, you know, if you want to rebuild a new Libya.
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