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"10 years of the tragedy in Libya: lessons learned, ways to overcome the crisis"

On September 9, 2021 the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University within the framework of the permanent online practice-based project «It's worth talking about», eptember 9, 2021, the Department of foreign regional studies, faculty of world held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation, the former Russian Ambassador to Iraq, Libya and Mauritania Vladimir Chamov. The topic was: "10 years of the tragedy in Libya".

The opening speech at the meeting was made by the Head of the School of International Regional Studies Vera V. Vishnyakova.

The moderator of the seminar was Andrey G.Baklanov, Professor, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Studies Section, State Adviser of the Russian Federation of the 1st class.

Describing the events in Libya in 2011, Vladimir Chamov pointed out that they were significantly differed from the violent mass popular demonstrations in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries. The scrapping of the state mechanism built by Gaddafi and the murder of the Libyan leader himself was primarily the result of the actions of external forces, Western states. The standard of living in the country was much higher than in other African countries, social programs covered almost the entire population of the country. Of course, there were also people dissatisfied with the regime, people who easily switched to the side of Gaddafi's opponents, but the actions of the internal opposition could not by themselves lead to the collapse of the regime.

Discussing whether the events in Libya could have taken a different path, the expert expressed the opinion that there were opportunities to prevent the tragedy of Gaddafi, but they were not realized due to external harsh interference in the internal affairs of the country. From a military point of view, the introduction of the "no - fly zone" regime was crucial, which in practice allowed the West to launch massive strikes against government troops, thereby helping the opposition forces, while Gaddafi was deprived of his main trump card-air support.

Vladimir Chamov gave specific data that characterized the approaches of the leading Western countries in the Libyan issue, emphasizing that much of the behavior of Western states was predetermined by the desire to get rid of an independent leader who was very popular among African countries. At the same time, Western states conducted an operation without any publicity on the actual illegal expropriation of multibillion-dollar assets of Libya, members of the Gaddafi family, which were stored in banks in France, Italy and other countries.

An interesting exchange of views was held with the participation of V. V. Chamov on the role played by the UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 on Libya. These resolutions, arbitrarily interpreted by the West, formed the conditions for the forceful elimination of Gaddafi and his regime. Unfortunately, the results of the implementation of these resolutions, as well as the resolutions on Iraq, have not been critically reviewed, although the activities of the UN Special Commission on Iraq's WMD, which actually prepared the ground for American aggression, should have been studied and evaluated by the UN Security Council.

Vladimir Chamov answered a question about the possibilities of forming a monitoring system in the Middle East to establish the facts of aggression, the use of prohibited weapons, etc. He expressed the opinion that the West's position on this issue actually blocks the creation of any effective verification mechanisms, and this leads to constant recurrences of "fake diplomacy".

Other issues related to the developments in the Middle East were also discussed.

The participants of the meeting warmly thanked Ambassador V. V. Chamov for an interesting and frank story about the dramatic events in the countries of this region.