Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

LNA Destroys Turkish Vessel Bringing Arms in Tripoli Port

LNA Destroys Turkish Vessel Bringing Arms in Tripoli Port

Tuesday, 18 February, 2020 - 11:15
Libya ceasefire talks resume in Geneva. (Reuters file photo)
Asharq Al-Awsat

The Libyan National Army announced on Tuesday that it has destroyed a Turkish vessel bringing in weapons in Tripoli port.

Authorities moved all ships including fuel tankers out of the port after Tuesday’s attack, two port officials said, according to Reuters.

Turkey has sent arms to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord as it resists an offensive by the LNA, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, to rid the capital of militias loyal to the GNA.

Tuesday’s attack happened as officers from the LNA and GNA prepared to meet for a second round of talks in Geneva to establish a permanent truce.

Both sides refused again to sit in the same room, UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame told reporters, although he said he was hopeful of making progress.

“So, while the situation on the ground remains a situation where the truce is very fragile... nobody has so far reneged on the principle of accepting the truce and the political process is trying to find a way to move forward,” he said.

He added that a ceasefire was not a precondition for advancing on other matters such as how to better distribute state revenues from oil, saying economic discussions were going “pretty well”.

“It is going pretty well on the economic side, but it is harder on the military side,” he said.

Salame said he had received conditions from tribesmen allied to the LNA to lift a blockade of eastern oil export ports, but said they were quite general and would have to be tackled at a UN-led dialogue.

Tribesmen and other groups allied to the LNA joined with Haftar’s forces a month ago to block major ports in eastern Libya and the southern Sharara oilfield, reducing oil output by more than 1 million barrels a day.

Salame had spoken to some tribal leaders to hear their conditions to end the blockade. A further round of discussions is planned in Geneva next week.

Editor Picks