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- We're starting tonight (1,610 words, 6 minutes) in Libya, with stops in Belarus, Mali and more.
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A rally in Tripoli last January. Photo: Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The state of play: Libya achieved an unexpected breakthrough in March by forming a national unity government that was recognized by all the major players from opposing sides of the barricades.
What he’s saying: In an interview with Axios, Abdallah acknowledged that Libya's recent history is littered with transitional governments that overstayed their mandates while failing to deliver. But he insists that this time is different.
The regional winds have been helpful, including recent reconciliations between Haftar backers Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the one hand and Turkey and Qatar on the other.
That leaves just one major external player that “actually benefits from an ongoing crisis in Libya,” Abdallah says: Russia, whose interests are represented by mercenaries from the Wagner Group.
Abdallah takes a very different tone when it comes to Turkey.
Dbeibah (right) shakes hands with Norland while Hood (C) looks on. Photo: AFP via Getty
There is one country that should intervene more strongly in Libya, Abdallah says: the U.S.
Driving the news: The Biden administration last week dispatched acting Assistant Secretary of State Joey Hood to Tripoli alongside Richard Norland, President Biden's special envoy to Libya, in a show of support for the unity government.
What to watch: Abdallah concedes that there are major constitutional and security gaps to be filled before an election can be held, and he even acknowledges that it might become impossible to hold a vote in December, as planned.
Raman Pratasevich. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The European Council has called on all European carriers to avoid Belarusian airports and airspace after a dissident journalist was hauled off a plane on Sunday in a state-sanctioned hijacking.
Driving the news: A Ryanair flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Minsk on Sunday after being notified of a security threat.
What to watch: The EU’s response has been under close scrutiny, as the bloc has been accused of limiting itself to strongly worded statements in the past in lieu of strong collective action.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
1. Military officers in Mali arrested the president, prime minister and defense minister tonight, Reuters reports.
3. Iran has reached a deal with the UN's nuclear watchdog to continue inspections of its nuclear sites for another month.
4. Morocco is furious that the leader of a Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali, was allowed to enter Spain for medical treatment using a false identity.
Screengrab via Apple Maps
You'll see this Asian capital city mentioned frequently in this newsletter but not in many travel guides.
Scroll to the bottom for the answer.
Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. Photo: Olivier Matthys/Pool/AFP via Getty
Bulgaria's National Security and Technical Operations agencies have been accused of eavesdropping on opposition politicians in the run-up to last month's parliamentary elections, Axios fellow Teodora Trifonova reports.
Why it matters: The wiretaps allegedly targeted 32 politicians from three parties that oppose the long-term ruling party, GERB, and former prime minister Boyko Borissov, who has dominated Bulgarian politics for the past decade.
The state of play: Borissov stepped down after GERB failed to win a majority in the elections and none of the other parties were willing to join it in a coalition.
What's next: GERB led narrowly with 23% in a poll published last week by Gallup International, down from 26% in the April elections.
The bottom line: President Rumen Radev has warned that with another inconclusive vote in July, Bulgaria would risk a “political and constitutional crisis.”
Biden outside the Oval Office in March. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Axios' Barak Ravid has a tour de force on the 11 days of diplomacy conducted by President Biden during the fighting in Gaza.
Behind the scenes: The first instinct of officials in the White House was to take a very active role, as previous administrations had done. But Biden took a lesson from the 2o14 Gaza war, when Barack Obama's public posture made Israel very defensive, undermining efforts toward a ceasefire.
Between last Sunday and Monday, U.S. officials started to see signs that a ceasefire was possible and that Egypt was the only effective mediator that could facilitate it.
Door-to-door coronavirus vaccinations in Siaya, Kenya. Photo: Brian Ongoro/AFP via Getty
"The @Ryanair flight took off just now from Minsk bound for Vilnius. Great news for everyone especially the families and friends of people onboard."— EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean on Sunday. "Everyone" apparently didn't apply to Pratasevich, who had been abducted.
Answer: Pyongyang, North Korea