Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Libyan-Iraqi relations are currently strained, Asharq Al Awsat can reveal. The cause of tension between the two nations developed last month after Libya submitted an unexpected request to the United Nations, asking it to conduct a large-scale investigation into the circumstances of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
High-level Arab sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iraqi Government asked Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa to intervene and urge the Libyan authorities to withdraw its request.
On 29 July, Libya’s permanent mission at the United Nations in New York presented UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with an official memorandum bearing number 1209 asking him to conduct an investigation into the invasion of Iraq.
In a letter to Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that his country considers this Libyan memorandum “an unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of a founding member of the Arab League and the United Nations.” Zebari particularly referred to the Libyan memorandum’s mention of the Iraqi judiciary.
In the letter, a copy of which Asharq Al-Awsat has received, Zebari pointed out that the Libyan move’s motives are political and have nothing to do with the international or human law or with the defense of human rights.
He said that the aim of this memorandum is to make the ongoing political process in Iraq fail, in contravention of the resolutions that have been passed by the UN Security Council, Organization of Islamic Conference, and Arab League to support this process.
He added: “Furthermore, bringing up this issue at this time where we see an active diplomatic move at the Arab and world levels to reach a fair and honorable settlement to the Palestinian issue will divert the international community’s attention away from this issue in a way that will not serve the higher Arab interests.”
The Iraqi foreign minister continued: “What astonishes us is the fact that the Libyan Government’s request comes at a time when the process of the US forces’ withdrawal from Iraq is stepped up under an agreement signed between Iraq and the United States that provides for the US forces’ withdrawal from Iraq and for the organization of their temporary presence in it.”