Vladimir Chukov: No doubt Gaddafi’s regime drawing near its end22 August 2011 | 14:54 | Radio FOCUS
FOCUS: Mr Chukov is there any doubt that the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is drawing near its end?
Vladimir Chukov: I think that in March Muammar Gaddafi suffered a political defeat. Indeed, what we see in Libya and Tripoli is the military end, the military defeat of the regime. The anti-Gaddafi forces needed six months to realise the formula that would eliminate regime. Obviously, the Libyan state is entering into a new stage.
FOCUS: The whereabouts of Muammar Gaddafi are not clear – what kind of reaction should we expect from him? Is he going to surrender? What kind of end he would choose?
Vladimir Chukov: It is hard to tell. Generally, there are many theories, many hypothesis, many scenarios about what will happen to him – he may escape, or hide in Libya. It is hard to predict. I think he is hiding somewhere in Libya, he will stay there until he is found. I remember the case of Saddam Hussein.
FOCUS: There are many other features that make us draw a connection with the situation in Iraq. People are celebrating and then they are to face a really hard transition period. How would the situation in Libya develop in the future?
Vladimir Chukov: According to me, the transition in Libya will be very hard, very harsh, very unpredictable compared to what we witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt, where the dictators were ousted in about a month.
There was a civil war, very bloody military information, in fact with the assistance of NATO. The Libyan society is too specific, it is tribal. That is why is why it will be hard for the Libyans and the Libyan factors to find the formula, which will secure the best future and perspectives for the Libyan state. I think that the Libyan state, the Libyan society will get very close to what we saw in 1951-1969.
FOCUS: Without giving some positive evaluation Gaddafi used to be the pillar of a status quo, which is now being destroyed. According to you, are the Islamists in Libya strong?
Vladimir Chukov: It is hard to tell what the notion Islamists mean in Libya. There is a Muslim Brotherhood, which receive rehabilitation in the Arab world after the start of the Arab spring.
Even the Italian foreign minister said that we are aware of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood is not the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
There is a great diversification – Muslim Brotherhood, strong radicals, and I mean those, who are very close to the Libyan armed group, which is the Libyan variant of Al Qaeda, separate elements, which have fought in Afghanistan. We should say that there are some nomad bedouin tribes, which have adopted ideals similar to those of Al Qaeda.
This is a remarkable diversification of the Islamist sector, which we witness returning with some very interesting potential in neighbouring Egypt. Of course, the population there is much bigger, the political-party positions are very diverse.
I think that in Libya we will see some smaller model of what we see in Egypt.
At the moment it is very hard to predict what will happen in Libya and when.
FOCUS: Speaking of Egypt, we cannot miss mentioning the dramatic events in the Gaza Strip and the strained relations between Israel and Egypt. It was said that this was one of the consequences of the Arab spring in Egypt.
Vladimir Chukov: There are many commentaries and different analyses on what happens in the Gaza Strip, the relations between Egypt and Israel. In fact, we should know that after the fall of Mubarak in Israel, the biggest fear in Tel Aviv was the possible denouncement of the Camp David Agreement.
FOCUS: This peace treaty represented the governance of Mubarak.
Vladimir Chukov: It was a guarantee for non-violation of the agreement. Generally, factors from the Islamist sector in Egypt questioned the future of the document. These events, which we see at the moment, in fact bring a situation of undermining the trust between these partner countries. They are not friends and have never been. These are countries, which have always had diplomatic relations as a result of the peace treaty.
Now Egypt summoned for consultations its ambassador, which is a showcase of a serious crisis and casts a shadow on this treaty.
FOCUS: This comes on the eve of the raising of the issue concerning the Palestinian Authority?
Vladimir Chukov: The Palestinian Authority is explicit about the application for full membership in the UN. But this is not what I mean. I mean that obviously there are forces, regional and not that regional, which are interested in terminating the treaty.
There were some Palestinian radicals behind the anti-Israeli attacks – it is about the Palestinian popular committees, which are not part of Hamas, or of those major Palestinian players, whom we are well-aware of and who are part of the Palestinian political architectonics.
Obviously, there are external forces, which want to stimulate these processes, which started after the start of the Arab spring. They want to stimulate them and see them develop in a way that will put Israel into bigger isolation.
We can only guess how far these events and the worsening of the relations will go.
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