Erdogan Says 'Syrian Mistake' Should Not Be Repeated in Libya, Calls for Pressure on Haftar
12:49 GMT 24.01.2020(updated 13:06 GMT 24.01.2020)
ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday voiced concerns over Libya repeating Syria's fate and called on the international community to increase pressure on Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, who is involved in the military conflict in the country.
"Our main goal is to end conflicts in the region. We are working on this together with Russia and Germany. Together with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, we have reached a ceasefire agreement for Libya, and then the Berlin Conference took place, where they made a big and important step, adopting a communique including 55 points. There is no need to repeat the Syrian mistake in Libya", Erdogan said at the opening of a Turkish-German University campus in Istanbul.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also attended the ceremony as she arrived in Istanbul for talks with Erdogan.
According to Erdogan, Haftar's army has continued its offensive on Tripoli, which is held by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), adding that many civilians have been killed in the attacks.
"Pressure on Haftar is needed, in order for the situation to become stable. If we do not want to share the country with the IS [Islamic State Terrorist group, banned in Russia], Al-Qaeda [banned in Russia] and other mercenaries, we must speed up the process of conflict settlement. We will work with German friends to end the Libyan crisis faster", the president said.
On 19 January, Berlin hosted an international conference on Libya featuring a number of countries and organisations, including Russia, Turkey, Egypt, the United States, the European Union, and the African Union.
The participants called on the United Nations to facilitate ceasefire talks and urged the Security Council to impose sanctions on those who would breach the truce agreement. The UN also called for the establishment of a 5+5 military committee that would be tasked with monitoring the ceasefire's implementation, and both sides of the conflict have agreed to it.
Erdogan has criticised Syrian President Bashar Assad and his policy on numerous occasions, calling on him to resign. Moreover, Turkey has actively supported opposition groups over the course of the Syrian Civil War.
Still, Assad remains in power, despite Syria being divided, just like Libya, where Haftar, like Assad, has enjoyed relative success in his fight against rival forces and gained more territory in recent months.
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