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Turkey, Italy Seek ‘Permanent Ceasefire’ in Libya

Turkey, Italy Seek ‘Permanent Ceasefire’ in Libya

Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 - 07:45
A hand out image made available by the Turkish Presidential Press Office on January 13, 2020, shows Turkish President (R) shaking hands with Italian PM Conte (L) during their meeting in Ankara.
Ankara - Saeed Abdul Razek
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the Moscow talks on the Libyan crisis would pave the way for the political process to be discussed at the upcoming Berlin conference.

In a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Ankara on Monday, Erdogan said: “We are exerting efforts for the ceasefire to be permanent.”

He made his remarks while Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar and Government of National Accord leader Fayez al-Sarraj were in Moscow for talks to sign a ceasefire in hostilities. Haftar departed the Russian capital on Tuesday without signing the deal.

For his part, Conte said that the truce in Libya is encouraging. The country will move from tension to political solution thanks to the Berlin process.

A ceasefire, initiated by Turkey and Russia, was declared last week. The truce was announced ahead of an international conference on Libya, scheduled for Berlin at the end of the month. Two participants in the preparatory negotiations said the meeting would be held on January 19.

Turkish diplomatic sources said Monday that Erdogan will participate in the conference. He had held telephone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday to discuss the latest developments in Libya.

Meanwhile, Turkey's ambassador to Libya Emrullah Isler said that Ankara had been in constant contact with the authorities in eastern Libya even after the LNA launched its operation to capture Tripoli in April.

Moreover, he stressed that the maritime deal signed between Ankara and the GNA will thwart the theft of Turkey’s oil and gas wealth in the Mediterranean. He ruled out the possibility that tensions over the deal would escalate into a conflict between Turkey and Israel.

He stated that Turkey wants a comprehensive solution, through negotiations with concerned countries, to the eastern Mediterranean dispute.

The GNA and Turkey signed security and maritime agreements in November last year, angering Mediterranean countries including Greece and Cyprus who also seek to exploit energy resources in the region.

The deals have alarmed Mediterranean and Arab countries and the United Nations, which have slammed Ankara’s meddling in Libya and warned that its intervention may escalate the situation in the already unstable country.

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