TRANSLATED: “Algeria rejected proposal to establish a safe zone in Libya, as suggested by Western countries”
Translated by our Mideastwire.com (for a free trial, email email@example.com):
On June 9, the Algerian daily El-Khabar reported: “Western countries a year ago discussed with Algeria and Tunisia the idea of establishing a safe or a buffer zone 100 km inside Libyan territory. The proposal was an alternative to direct Western military intervention in Libya. However, the proposal was aborted at an early stage as was a proposal to establish a buffer zone in the farthest eastern Libya to be secured by Western air forces. The political and military leadership in Algeria in mid-2015, about a year ago, rejected a proposal for establishing a safe zone in Libya in cooperation with Algeria and Tunisia. A security source said that Western countries put the proposal to Tunisia and Algeria in June 2015 for establishing a safe zone in eastern Libya that would extend from the Mediterranean coast, west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, to the border with Niger. It was to be administered by the legitimate government in Libya and military forces of the Libyan government, but the proposal was rejected by Algeria and Tunisia at the time.
“The proposal included cooperation with Western air forces through the provision of facilities at Algerian Air Force bases and the participation of Algerian planes in protecting a 100-km deep safe zone in western Libya, that would extend from the Mediterranean coast to the border with Niger in the farthest southern Libya. Our source said that the proposal was discussed by six countries namely Tunisia, Algeria, France, Italy, Britain and the US and was suggested by Libyan political forces and representatives from some Libyan tribes to provide a humanitarian safe zone that could be protected by neighbouring countries’ air forces in a repeated scenario of the Western air intervention in Libya in 2011.
“The proposal included Tunisian cooperation by providing flight routes for Western military planes and Algerian cooperation by providing various military facilities for aircraft to monitor the safe zone, while the Libyan legitimate forces were to help with controlling the zone. According to our source, the proposal reached an advanced stage and included details such as the number of aircraft required to control the safe zone; it was suggested that 80 military aircraft and 60 helicopters were required. However, the political leadership in Algeria rejected the proposal on the basis of two principles; non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and commitment to the policy of keeping the national army within the land borders of Algeria and not to engage in any military operation outside the national border. Our source said that a proposal for the establishment of a military buffer zone in Libyan territory to prevent the infiltration of terrorists was supposed to be carried out by the Algerian Air force only.”