MADRID, Jan. 20 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has warned on Monday that his Government is prepared to take the necessary measures in case the quarterback Jalifa Haftar does not fulfill his commitments in the framework of the conflict in Libya.
“The key point is that Haftar puts an end to its aggressive stance. Since April, Haftar has been the side that has violated all the agreements and attacked the legitimate government,” he said, in press statements on his return after the Sunday summit in Berlin.
Erdogan, who has reiterated his support for the prime minister of the unity government, Fayez Serraj, has indicated that Ankara will continue his diplomatic efforts to stabilize the situation, while justifying his decision to send troops to the African country.
In this regard, he has criticized that “the Wagner Group has 2,500 members of its security personnel there.” “Why don't you talk about this?” He asked himself, before adding that “there are also 5,000 Sudan soldiers there, and soldiers from Chad and Niger.”
The Turkish president has thus accused the authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of “using all sources (of armed men) he can find” to support Haftar, loyal to the authorities based in the east of the country.
He also reiterated that “Serraj is a leader recognized by the United Nations Security Council” and that “Haftar does not have this status,” according to the Turkish newspaper 'Daily Sabah'.
“The peace of the Libyan people is very, very important to us,” he said, while highlighting that the deployment of Turkish troops came at the request of Serraj and with the approval of the Turkish Parliament.
Thus, Erdogan has lamented that there have been no similar processes in Russia, in an apparent reference to the Wagner Group. “We will see the consequences of these steps in Libya,” he argued.
Finally, he has revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him that Moscow “would take care of Haftar” and that if Ankara “can deal with Serraj, the matter can be resolved.”
THE BERLIN SUMMIT
The parties in conflict in Libya agreed on Sunday at the Berlin peace conference a “comprehensive plan” for the solution of the dispute that includes a ceasefire and a military verification commission composed of both sides to ensure compliance.
The verification commission will consist of five representatives from each party, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the end of the meeting. This commission will meet in the next few days in Geneva to lay the foundations for a definitive ceasefire agreement.
“The most important thing is that the Libyan representatives, in particular General Haftar and Serraj, have agreed on the next steps, proposed by the UN Secretary General (António Guterres) and Mr. (UN special envoy for Libya, Ghasan) Salamé, “he added.
Merkel also said that the signatory parties – a total of 16 international actors – are committed to meridianly applying the arms embargo. “We can say that everyone agrees to respect the arms embargo,” he settled.
THE HAFTAR OFFENSIVE
Haftar launched its offensive in April 2019, during a visit to the country of Guterres and ten days before the start of a national conference that was at the center of the peace process promoted by Salamé.
He also announced in mid-December the beginning of the “final battle” and the “zero hour” for Tripoli and ordered his forces to move towards the city. In this context, Haftar forces took the city of Sirte by surprise in early January, in a severe blow to the unity government.
That is why, in recent days, both the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the European Union have voiced alarm at the escalation of the conflict in which the country has been plunged since the satrap's death Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and the war against the Islamic State.
Since the beginning of the hostilities, the UN Security Council has failed to agree on any statement or resolution on the campaign, which has resulted in so far hundreds of civilians killed and injured and more than 120,000 displaced.