Erdoğan: Turkey will do whatever is necessary in Libya for peace, stability

Erdoğan: Turkey will do whatever is necessary in Libya for peace, stability
  • Clock-gray 01:12
  • calendar-gray 21 January 2020

Turkey will take all necessary measures to support the U.N.-backed legitimate government in Libya and ensure forces loyal to putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar stop their attacks, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday, underlining that Ankara will continue diplomatic efforts to provide stability in the conflict-ravaged country and stand by the Libyan people, APA reports citing Daily Sabah.

Erdoğan's remarks came following the Berlin conference held on Jan. 19 with the participation of major international actors to find a diplomatic solution to the Libyan crisis.

"The critical point here is that Haftar should stop his aggressive stance. Since April, Haftar's has been the side which violated all deals and attacked the legitimate government," Erdoğan told members of the Turkish press accompanying him on his way back from Berlin to Turkey. He said that he mentioned this issue during the meetings in Berlin and none of the participant actors stated opposition against it.

Erdoğan also added that Turkey is ready to take necessary measures if Haftar's forces do not abide by their commitments, highlighting Turkey has fulfilled its responsibilities so far in finding a diplomatic solution for the Libyan crisis.

Libya's legitimate government had been under attack by Haftar since last April, claiming the lives of more than 1,000 people.

On Jan. 12, the sides announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by the Turkish and Russian leaders.

But talks last week for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

On Sunday, Haftar accepted in Berlin to designate members to a U.N.-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor the implementation of the cease-fire.

Erdoğan also touched on the presence of Turkish troops in Libya and criticism from some parties about Turkey's decision to give military aid to Libya's legitimate government.


Saying that Turkey has only sent a team of trainers to Libya for military training, Erdoğan added: "On the other hand, the Wagner Group has 2,500 security personnel here (in Libya). Why don't you bring this matter to the table? When we say this, they offer no response. It is not only Wagner; there are also 5,000 soldiers from Sudan there. In addition to this, there are soldiers from Chad and Niger. The Abu Dhabi administration takes from whatever sources they can find."

He added that the ones that come from Sudan are mercenaries, and their funding is being provided by the UAE. Also mentioning Russia and the UAE's military support to Haftar forces, Erdoğan said Turkey expressed its expectation for sensitivity about the issue during Berlin talks.

Responding to the aftermath of the Libya peace talks, Erdoğan said Turkey cannot force the legitimate government to do anything and that if promises have been made, they will be fulfilled.

"Sarraj is a leader recognized by the U.N. Security Council. Haftar does not have such a status. About this, especially (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel did not offer any contrary statements. At such a table, the one who invited us is the leader of a legitimate government, the other is illegitimate," Erdoğan said, referring to the GNA's invitation for Turkey's military aid in Libya.

Underlining that Turkey also took necessary legal steps in Parliament for the military mandate, Erdoğan said there have not been similar processes in Russia.

"We will see the consequences of these steps in Libya. Libyan people's peace is very, very important for us," he added.


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