UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday before leaving his country on his way to Algeria that the commander of eastern Libya (the Libyan National Army) Khalifa Haftar violates the armistice and therefore is not expected from him to abide by the ceasefire called between his forces and the loyal forces To the government in Tripoli.
Despite the efforts of Turkey and Russia, Haftar left talks in Moscow earlier this month on a ceasefire without signing an agreement. The closure of his forces’ ports and oil fields in Libya also overshadowed a summit in Berlin last week aimed at agreeing to a permanent truce.
And the forces of eastern Libya, led by Haftar, are seeking to control the capital, Tripoli, with the support of Egypt and the UAE, mercenaries from Russia, and African forces. Turkey, in turn, supports the internationally recognized national reconciliation government in Tripoli headed by Faiz al-Sarraj.
The fighting has subsided over the past weeks, but intensified over the weekend on the southern Tripoli front. A Reuters journalist said that artillery shots could be heard in the frontline between the two sides. More than 150,000 people have been driven from their homes by the ongoing fighting in southern Tripoli for months.
In statements before traveling on a visit to Algeria, Erdogan said that Haftar’s forces had repeatedly violated the ceasefire in Libya and described international support for the Libyan National Army as “evidence” for Haftar.
“At this point, we need to see clearly who Haftar is,” Erdogan said. He is a man who betrayed him before too. It is not possible to expect mercy and understanding from such a person regarding the ceasefire. ”
He continued, “He continues the attacks with all the resources at his disposal. But it will not work here. ”
Libya has not had stable central authority since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011 in an uprising supported by NATO. There have been two competing governments in Libya, one in the east and the other in the west for more than five years. As for effective control over the land, it belongs to armed groups.
Turkey has repeatedly said that Hifter should choose a political solution to the conflict and urged foreign powers to press him for a truce. Ankara also sent military advisers and trainers to help the Al-Wefaq government repel Haftar’s attack on Tripoli.
Ankara confirmed that it would adhere to the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Libya as long as the cease-fire remains in place, but warned that it may also send troops if necessary.
In Berlin, foreign powers agreed to form a special committee composed of five military officials from both sides of the conflict to reinforce the fragile truce.
Military officials are due to meet for the first time in Geneva this week.
Erdogan said in his statements on Sunday that he did not expect a result from that committee because of Haftar’s position.
Turkey, the UAE, Egypt, Russia and Western countries agreed in Berlin to stick to the existing arms embargo. However, the United Nations Mission in Libya said on Saturday that many transport aircraft carrying advanced weapons, vehicles and fighters from countries that participated in the summit reach eastern and western Libya.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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