Libya on the Line
An Israeli connection in Libya's civil war?
Several conversations with the prime minister hint that the Libyan government reached out to Israel.
Last Modified: 21 May 2012 11:07
Top Libyan officials may have solicited help from the Israeli government [EPA]

One fascinating sidebar in the recordings is the possibility that top Libyan officials reached out to the Israeli government for help.

In early May, the prime minister, Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, spoke with Mohammed Ajami, a US-based contact who tried to help the Libyan government. Ajami discusses a call with the "cousins," a term which Libyan sources describe as a euphemism for the Israelis.

Ajami notes that one of these "cousins" is planning a trip to the United States "on the 20th of this month." Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the US on that date, and - as Ajami reported - he indeed delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress (though it was on the 24th, not the 22nd).

Ajami: I don't know if you were told about the call with the counterpart of the "cousins." He is going to the US on the 20th of this month. On the 22nd he will make a speech to the joint house of Congress and the Senate. He doesn't want anything to ruin his trip. He thinks that his phone call may come out in the media. it could affect his trip to America currently.

Al-Mahmoudi: We don't want it to go public.

Ajami: i spoke with him; he was hesitant, and he is a friend of mine from a long time.

Al-Mahmoudi: We don't want it to go public.

Ajami: He said he will send his secretary on Monday. We'll meet and discuss many details and co-ordinate some steps. In his speech he will present a peace initiative with the Palestinians.

Al-Mahmoudi: OK, you arrange it based on what we previously discussed.

Ajami: If you want, I can arrange for you to speak to the person coming on Monday.

Al-Mahmoudi: What matters is that your procedures are well-planned and quick.

There was no discussion of the subject for a month. Ajami called back on June 6 and told Al-Mahmoudi that he met once again with "the cousins":

Ajami: I would like to tell you only one thing. I assure you I will do what I told you. I have all the work plans, and yesterday I was with our cousins. Everything we talked about, I will do it. You will see many changes on the ground. I don't want you to be worried about that.

Al-Mahmoudi: OK.

Ajami: Pay us so we can work.

Al-Mahmoudi: Tomorrow it will be sorted 100%.

Ajami: You know how much I trust you, since the beginning I have been working based on your word.

Al-Mahmoudi: I don't want you to be worried about that.

Ajami: Thank you, doctor.

The two men spoke on the subject one more time, on June 8, when Ajami promised "good news by the end of this week," and hinted that he'd been in touch with influential figures in Washington.

Ajami: Everything is okay. You will have good news by the end of this week. The first team has arrived today, and the second team will arrive tomorrow. There will be about eight individuals working 24 hours on the subject. They are more influential on the Capitol Hill. They are our cousins, and their names are what we talked about when we met.

Al Jazeera
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