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Iran Press TV

Turkey censures Haftar for seeking 'military dictatorship' in Libya

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 2:25 PM

Turkey says it will defend the internationally recognized government of Libya against the 'military dictatorship' planned by renegade General Khalifa Haftar, who has claimed to have a "mandate" to rule the African country.

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011, when a popular uprising and a NATO intervention led to the ouster, and later killing, of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The country has been divided between the Tripoli-based government and a camp in the eastern city of Tobruk, supported militarily by Haftar's rebels since 2014.

On Monday, Haftar said his self-styled army had "accepted the will of the people and its mandate."

Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday censured his remarks.

"With this announcement, Haftar has once again demonstrated that he does not seek a political solution to the crisis in Libya, does not support international efforts in this regard... and aims to create a military dictatorship in the country."

Haftar, who has been receiving support from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, launched an offensive to capture Tripoli in April last year, but has so far failed to achieve his objective of ousting the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

Numerous international attempts to bring about peace between the two warring sides in Libya have failed.

Ankara supports the GNA and has sent troops and pro-Turkish Syrian militants to boost the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

In the Wednesday statement, Ankara reiterated that it would "definitely continue to stand by the brotherly Libyan people in defending the Government of National Accord and all other legitimate institutions of Libya."

The ministry also called on the international community to "respond, without further delay, to this person, who undoubtedly exposed his intention to establish a junta regime in Libya."

Haftar's claim has also irritated the European Union.

Peter Stano, the lead spokesman of the External Affairs of the European Union, said the unilateral declaration was "unacceptable."

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Haftar against any "unilateral" action. the diplomat said Russia does not support the warlord's statement that he would "decide unilaterally the way for the Libyan people to live."

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