The main supporter of the Tripoli government, the spokesman for the Turkish presidency, said on Saturday that the establishment of a durable arms weapon in Libya could only be achieved after Marshal Khalifa’s forces resigned from Haftar from the strategic city of Sirte.
For Turkey, the main support of the Tripoli government, no weapons of arms can be signed in Libya, between the government of the National Union of Tripoli (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Marshal Haftar, as long as the latter forces will not have left the city Sirte.
“A ceasefire must be viable, which means that the other party, Haftar’s LNA, may no longer be able to launch a new attack on the legitimate government whenever it wants,” Ibrahim Kalin, the president’s spokesman for Turkey, told AFP on Saturday (June 20).
“Right now, GNA believes, and we support it in this, that all parties should return to their positions in 2015, when the Libyan political agreement from Skhirat (in Morocco) was signed, which means Haftar’s forces must withdraw from Sirte and Al- Joufra, further south, he added.
GNA’s forces, after regaining control of the entire northwestern part of the country at the beginning of June with the support of Turkey, remain hampered in their progress against Sirte, strategic lock to the east and the major oil companies in the country.
The birthplace of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Sirte, located 450 km east of Tripoli, was later a bastion of the Islamic State (IS) organization, before taking over 2016 by GNA. It fell into the hands of Marshal Haftar’s camp in January last year.
Turkey supports the GNA in Fayez al-Sarraj, recognized by the UN, against the dissident forces of Marshal Haftar, particularly supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Ankara and Moscow are currently holding talks to try to reach a ceasefire in Libya, despite the mid-June interruption due to obvious differences from a visit by two Russian ministers to Istanbul.
“The French government supports an illegitimate warlord”
The Turkish President’s spokesman also violently attacked France, accused of supporting Marshal Haftar, but critically criticizing Turkey’s intervention with the GNA.
“In Libya, we support the legitimate government and the French government supports an illegitimate warlord, thereby jeopardizing NATO’s security, security in the Mediterranean, security in North Africa and stability in Libya,” a- he says.
“Despite all this, they (French officials) continue to criticize us. But we work with legitimate actors and it is France who works with bad actors and illegal elements while pointing fingers at us. It makes no sense,” he added.