Libyan diplomat urges Turkey to withdraw international fighters

CAIRO (AP) – Libya’s high diplomat referred to as on Monday for the departure of international forces and mercenaries from the North African nation as he heads to elections later this yr.

Najla al-Manqoush, international minister in Libya’s interim authorities, urged Turkey to implement UN Safety Council resolutions demanding the repatriation of greater than 20,000 international fighters and mercenaries from Libya.

His remarks had been made throughout a joint press convention with Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. He traveled to Tripoli with Protection Minister Hulusi Akar and different senior army and intelligence officers.

“We name on (Turkey) to take measures to implement all of the provisions of … Safety Council resolutions and to cooperate to expel all international and mercenary forces from Libyan territories,” she stated.

The remarks had been seen as a rebuke to Turkey, which has deployed Syrian troops and mercenaries to battle alongside militias in Tripoli because the forces of army commander Khalifa Hifter launched their assault on the capital in 2019.

Cavusoglu responded by saying that Turkish forces had been in Libya below a coaching cope with a former Libyan administration. “There are those that equate our authorized presence … with teams of international mercenaries who battle on this nation for cash,” he stated.

Turkey has been intently concerned in Libya, supporting the Tripoli-based, western-controlled UN-recognized nationwide accord authorities towards Hifter’s forces. Turkey despatched army provides and fighters to Libya, serving to to tip the steadiness of energy in favor of the federal government in Tripoli.

Turkey additionally signed an settlement with the Tripoli-based authorities demarcating the maritime borders between the 2 Mediterranean nations, triggering protests from Greece and Cyprus. The 2 nations denounced the settlement, saying it was a critical violation of worldwide regulation which disregarded the rights of different nations within the japanese Mediterranean.

Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed rebellion in 2011 toppled longtime chief Moamer Kadhafi, who was later killed. The oil-rich nation has lately been divided between rival administrations primarily based within the east and the west, every supported by totally different armed teams and international governments.

Libya’s interim authorities, which took energy in March, is meant to carry collectively a rustic torn by civil struggle for practically a decade. It additionally goals to information Libya via a normal election on December 24.

Safety Council diplomats say there are greater than 20,000 international fighters and mercenaries in Libya, together with 13,000 Syrians and 11,000 Sudanese, in addition to Russians and Chadians.

The 15 member nations of the Safety Council agreed at a casual assembly final week that the return of international fighters and mercenaries was the one means ahead, in keeping with officers who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the assembly was shut.


Related Press author Suzan Frazer has contributed from Ankara, Turkey.

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