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Iran Press TV

Libya's Haftar must end 'hostile attitude' to resolve conflict: Erdogan

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 19 January 2020 3:25 PM

Turkey says Libya's renegade general Khalifa Haftar should end his "hostile attitude" in order to resolve the conflict in the war-wracked Arab country.

"For a political solution and the implementation of other phases of a solution, Haftar's hostile attitude should come to an end," Turkey's state-owned Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Sunday.

Erdogan made the remarks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of an international summit on Libya in the German capital Berlin.

Putin also said "but we have not lost hope that the dialogue will be continued and we sincerely aspire to the resolution of the conflict."

The Russian president said Libya's conflict is of great concern to Europe especially because the North African country's wide-open doors have seen "an influx of refugees from the Middle East and Africa to Europe".

The UN-led summit will discuss ways to end the conflict in the North African country. Leaders of Germany, Russia, Turkey, and France will attend the meeting.

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, the commander of an array of militia groups, are also expected to attend.

The conference is aimed at ending the armed fighting between the UN-recognized government and Haftar's rebel forces. It will also discuss the interference of foreign powers in the Libyan conflict through the provision of weapons, troops, and financing.

Since 2014, Libya has been divided between two rival governments, the House of Representatives based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the internationally-recognized government of Sarraj or the Tripoli-based unity Government of National Accord (GNA).

Last April, renegade general Haftar, who backs the eastern government, launched an offensive to capture capital Tripoli and oust the GNA. Despite intense and deadly clashes between the two sides, Haftar has so far failed to achieve his objective.

Turkey supports the Libyan government and has sent troops to the North African country to help Sarraj's government defend itself against the Haftar's offensive.

Turkey and Russia mediated peace talks between Sarraj and Haftar, who held indirect talks in Moscow last week. But the talks ended without result after Haftar walked away. Sarraj had already signed a draft agreement on a truce.

Libya has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when long-time former leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled after a NATO military intervention.

His ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.

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