Turkish FM urges for withdrawal of Haftar forces in Libya

Ankara, July 14 (IANS) Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on the forces of Khalifa Haftar in Libya to retreat from the cities of Sirte and Jufra.

The Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya will not benefit from the cease-fire now, he said in a televised interview with state-run TRT Haber broadcaster, adding that the GNA has concerns about the sincerity of its rival Haftar, Xinhua news agency reported.

The minister also criticized Haftar and his supporters for not preparing for a political roadmap for Libya.

“The cities of Sirte and Jufra must be emptied and handed over to the GNA. We also conveyed this to the Russian side,” Cavusoglu said.

Turkey plans to launch a seismic research and drilling operations for natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean over a deal between Ankara and GNA in November last year, he said, noting that Turkey is open to cooperation with companies from third countries.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.

Turkey supports the GNA led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and has sent troops to Libya as part of a military cooperation agreement signed with the GNA to support its fight against Haftar.

–IANS
rt/

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