Libya: Tripoli regime increasingly dependent on Turkey

This post was published in ANF News. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.

MOSCOW, (BM) – Turkey vowed to “defend” the Libyan government after the eastern commander, Khalifa Haftar, declared himself the ruler of this North African country.

Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), declared himself ruler of Libya earlier this week, abandoning the Libyan unity agreement signed in 2015. For its part, Turkey promises to “protect Libya from the military dictatorship” of Haftar. Forces loyal to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) associated with Turkey have recaptured several strategic cities from Haftar in recent weeks.

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Haftar on Wednesday of attempting to “create a military dictatorship” and stated that the military leader had shown his true intentions by stepping out of a landmark agreement to unify the country through UN mediation.

“Turkey will continue to support the Libyan people in defending the Government of National Accord and all other legitimate institutions … and support efforts for a political solution,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also called on the international community to respond to Haftar’s actions, adding that the military leader “undoubtedly exposed his intention to establish a junta regime in Libya.”

Comments appeared after Haftar said that he has a “people’s mandate” to govern the North African country and that the 2015 UN agreement “destroyed” Libya. “A political agreement destroyed the country. We will work to create conditions for the construction of permanent civil institutions,” Haftar said in a televised address.

On Tuesday, the GNA responded to Haftar’s statement, accusing him of organizing a “coup d’etat”. “This is a farce and the last in a long series of coups,” the government said in a statement.

Haftar, a former general under Muammar Gaddafi, has been leading the assault on the Libyan capital Tripoli since April last year with his Libyan National Army (LNA).

Although the LNA last year managed to advance into the southern suburbs of Tripoli, during the clashes this month, it lost ground to the forces of supporters of the GNA.

The reaction of the USA and Russia

Russia and the United States called on both sides to resume the political process, while Washington said it “regrets” that Haftar rejected the 2015 agreement.

“The United States regrets the assumption of the LNA commander Haftar that changes in the political structure of Libya could be imposed by a unilateral statement, and again call for an immediate humanitarian cessation of hostilities,” the US Embassy in Libya said in a statement.

Although the US officially supports the GNA, Tripoli accused the Western powers of secretly supporting the military leader.

Last year, after Donald Trump spoke on the telephone with Haftar, the White House made a statement that the US president “recognized the significant role of Field Marshal Haftar in the fight against terrorism and in protecting the Libyan oil resources.”


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Original source: ANF News