News 14 january — 20:34

Erdogan vows to teach Haftar a lesson if attacks on Government of National Accord continue

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to teach a lesson to Commander of the Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar if he did not stop attacks on the Government of National Accord’s positions, Tass reports.

"Turkey is carefully watching the steps by legitimate Libyan authorities and allies of General Khalifa Haftar. If the strikes on positions of the legitimate Libyan authorities resume, Turkey is ready to teach a lesson to Haftar," Erdogan said.

Erdogan added that Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar at first backed the ceasefire deal on Libya but later "ran away" from Moscow, where talks were held with the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

"We made major efforts in the framework of an initiative launched by Turkey and Russia. Yesterday at talks in Moscow the Tripoli-based government showed a constructive stance, but then coup-plotter Haftar refused to sign a ceasefire deal. At first he agreed, but then he ran away from Moscow," Erdogan told the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

According to the Turkish leader, whose speech was broadcast by NTV channel, now Russia bears responsibility for how events will unfold in Libya.

The outcome of the Moscow talks on Libya will be a focus of the upcoming international conference in Berlin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the country’s parliament on Tuesday.

"On Sunday, Berlin will host a summit where leaders will discuss this matter [the Moscow talks on Libya — TASS]. A number of other counties, including the United States, will participate in the conference at a lower level. We have informed all interested parties that Tunisia and Qatar also need to be present at the negotiating table, however, we did not get the desired result," the Turkish president pointed out.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu commented earlier on Tuesday that "the Berlin process [on Libya] would be pointless" if Commander of the Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who had refused to sign an agreement with the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj following the Moscow event, failed to change his position.

Berlin conference

The German authorities earlier initiated international consultations on the Libya issue, which involve a number of counties, including Russia. The consultations became known as the "Berlin process" and are said to be aimed at supporting the efforts of United Nations Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame. The first round of consultations took place in the German capital on September 17, 2019. The event involved Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and North Africa Mikhail Bogdanov, as well as representatives of Egypt, France, Italy, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Arab League and the European Union.

According to media reports, Germany plans to host an international conference on resolving the Libyan conflict on January 19.

A ceasefire between the Tripoli-based internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan National Army (LNA) forces of Commander Khalifa Haftar took effect in Libya at midnight on January 12 within the framework of a joint initiative proposed by the Russian and Turkish presidents.

Delegations of the sides arrived in Moscow on January 13 for talks, after which Sarraj and Chairman of the High Council of State Khaled al-Mishri signed a draft document on the settlement in the country, while Haftar took a pause. However, later he left Moscow without inking a deal. Early on January 14 armed clashes resumed in the south of the capital Tripoli. In a statement, cited by the Al Hadath TV channel, the LNA has declared its "readiness and determination to win."

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