Wednesday 15 January 2020
Turkish Presidential Adviser Yassin Aktay said that his country does not intend to withdraw from Libya and does not consider its presence an “occupation”, after Ankara and Moscow failed to persuade the Libyan army commander, Khalifa Haftar, to sign a binding ceasefire agreement to stop the attack that started 9 months ago.
Akti said in statements to “Sputnik” news agency published on Wednesday that “France and the UAE are pressuring (Field Marshal Khalifa) Haftar in order to prevent him from sitting with Turkey at the negotiating table and imposing conditions such as Turkey’s withdrawal from Libya … Why would Turkey withdraw from Libya? ”
He added: “Haftar was able to attend the negotiations in Moscow thanks to Turkey and its presence in Libya, because he was refusing to reach an understanding with the government of national reconciliation.”
He continued: “Turkey is present on the ground in order to protect the Libyan people, and we do not intend to occupy Libya or fight against the Libyan people. In fact, those who will and will confront Turkey are mercenary soldiers” – as he claimed -.
On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the Libyan National Army chief, Khalifa Hifter, had left Moscow without signing a ceasefire agreement with the National Accord government.
The talks between the foreign and defense ministers of Russia and Turkey with the Libyan parties continued for more than about 6 hours.
Earlier Wednesday, Libyan Parliament Speaker Aqeela Saleh demanded an Arab role to counter Turkish interference in Libya. He said during a speech to a session of the Arab Parliament in Cairo: “We demand an Arab role to confront the Turkish invasion of Libya.”
The parties to the conflict in Libya announced a ceasefire from Sunday, at the initiative of Russia and Turkey, during a meeting that brought together Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week in Istanbul.
It is planned that the German capital will host an international meeting on Libya next Sunday.