Donald Trump aide Sebastian Gorka 'tried to partition Libya into three by drawing map on a napkin'

Adviser said to have been told his proposal to end violence in the country was the 'worst possible solution'

Sebastian Gorka has previously come under pressure over his links to a Nazi-supporting group
Sebastian Gorka has previously come under pressure over his links to a Nazi-supporting group

One of Donald Trump’s closest aides reportedly tried to partition Libya into three by drawing a map on a napkin.

Sebastian Gorka, a member of the President's national security advisory staff, is said to have presented the plan to a senior European diplomat at a meeting during the presidential transition period.

The plan was based on the old Ottoman Empire provinces, according to The Guardian: Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the north-west and Fezzan in the south-west.

The provinces remained in place until 1911, when Italy gained control of the country following the Italo-Turkish War.

His suggestion for the country, which has been engulfed by violence since the Nato-backed removal of former president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, was reportedly dismissed as 'the worst possible solution'.

In an attempt to restore stability, the Obama Administration supported Libyan government of national accord, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, which is also backed by the United Nations (UN).

But the east of the country is controlled by Khalifa Haftar, an anti-Islamist military strongman who was previously a leader of the anti-Gaddafi rebels.

The power struggle between the two factions has led some to suggest that the country could be split up.

But experts have warned that this could lead to another civil war because the borders of the two new states would be highly contentious.

“This is like a litmus test of how much you know about Libya. If you the only thing you know is that it was cut into three, then it shows you are clueless about the situation in Libya,” Mattia Toaldo, a Libya expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations thinktank, told The Guardian.

There have been concerns among European states that Mr Trump will shift US support towards Mr Haftar’s government after being attracted by his strong anti-Islamist rhetoric.

Libya is still dogged by the presence of Isis and other jihadist groups – a key target of Mr Trump and his team.

Dr Gorka, like his ideological ally Steve Bannon, believes the quest to defeat “radical Islam” should be at the heart of US foreign policy. Both are former editors of the right wing Breitbart news website.

Mr Trump has stayed largely silent on Libya since taking office. During the presidential election he initially said he would have left its former leader Muammar al-Gaddafi in power, before later saying he would have authorised a surgical strike to remove him from power.

It is unclear whether Dr Gorka has suggested his partition plan to the US leader.

The intelligence analyst recently came in for criticism after he wore the medal of the Hungarian far-right organisation, Vitezi Rend, to several public events.

The group, which collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War, later said it was “really proud” that he had worn its insignia.

It lead some to accuse Dr Gorka anti-Semitism, although he insisted the medal was given to his Hungarian-born father and that he wore it as a tribute to him.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in