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Tebboune, Erdogan Stress Political Solution in Libya

Tebboune, Erdogan Stress Political Solution in Libya

Monday, 27 January, 2020 - 08:15
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune hold a joint press conference following their meeting at presidential office in Algiers, Algeria on January 26, 2020. (Ercin Top - Anadolu Agency)
Algiers - Ankara - Asharq Al-Awsat
Ankara and Algiers are in “full agreement” on Libya which is witnessing a fragile truce, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said Sunday.

Tebboune spoke after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Algiers.

While the visit tackled bilateral economic cooperation, Libya was the main topic of discussions between Tebboune and his Turkish counterpart. 

“There is full agreement with President Erdogan to endorse what was decided in Berlin,” Tebboune told reporters, referring to the conference that was held in the German capital last week.

“We strive for peace together with daily and accurate follow-up of all developments on the ground” in Libya, he added.

Erdogan warned that Libya could turn into “an arena for terrorist organizations … It is not possible to solve the crisis in Libya through military options.”

The Turkish president stressed that Ankara was contacting countries in the region and the world to achieve a permanent ceasefire in Libya and allow the resumption of dialogue.

At the level of Algerian-Turkish ties, Tebboune announced a commitment to increase bilateral trade volume to USD5 billion from its current level of USD4 billion.

At the Berlin conference, the participating countries pledged to end the flow of weapons. They also vowed to abstain from interfering in internal Libyan affairs.

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar launched an operation to seize Tripoli on April 4. The UN says the fighting has killed more than 280 civilians and over 2,000 combatants, while more than 146,000 Tripoli residents have been displaced.

Regarding the ceasefire effective Jan. 12, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) commented that “this fragile truce is now threatened by the ongoing transfer of foreign fighters, weapons, ammunition and advanced systems to the parties by member states, including several who participated in the Berlin Conference.”

Thursday, Libya’s neighboring countries stressed their rejection of any foreign intervention and called conflict parties for dialogue. The meeting in Algiers was attended by German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas to inform the participants of Berlin Conference outcomes.

Speaking in Istanbul after Friday talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Erdogan said that they assessed the outcomes of the Berlin Conference and the latest developments in Libya. He added that Haftar’s forces had repeatedly violated the ceasefire, noting that international support for the LNA was “spoiling” Haftar.

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