Turkey to stand by Libya in its journey for stability: Official
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal underscored Turkey's strong support for Libya's security and stability on Oct. 21.
“The Libyans have proven, time and again, that they have the courage, resilience and determination to stabilize their country and bring the political process to a viable conclusion. Turkey will stand by Libya in this journey," said Önal, speaking at the International Conference to Support Libya's Stability in the capital Tripoli.
“Now it is time to take steps towards national unity and reconciliation by building on the gains already achieved,” he said.
Önal underlined the importance of ensuring territorial integrity and political unity in Libya where security, stability and prosperity prevails.
He urged the international community to help empower the Government of National Unity (GNU), saying: “It is a must if we are candid about moving Libya forward.”
“The GNU still needs our support to extend its authority to the entire country, to deliver public services and to unify state institutions,” he noted.
On national elections scheduled for December, Önal said Turkey is committed to holding them on time.
He said it is important to hold elections in a free, fair and credible manner so their results are acceptable to all parties in the country.
Since a popular revolution toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has faced a long civil war and recently moved to a transitional phase in search of stability.
According to the U.N.'s roadmap for a solution in Libya, presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held simultaneously on Dec. 24.
These elections may be hampered by current differences over the election laws between on the one hand the House of Representatives and on the other the Supreme Council of State and the unity government and the Presidential Council.
Onal also highlighted the importance of stability for progress in Libya and added that it should be handled in a delicate manner as the cease-fire on the ground is still fragile.
Commenting on Turkey’s position on the withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from the country, Onal said: “This should be done through proper consultations with all relevant parties and should be done on a sequential, gradual and, most importantly, verifiable fashion.”
Libya’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on Thursday announced the start of a "stability and construction journey" in his country at the start of the International Conference to Support Libya's Stability.
Representatives of 27 countries and four regional and international organizations are taking part in the conference.
The delegation headed by Önal represented Turkey.
As part of his official visit to Tripoli, Önal met with the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi, the head of the Libyan High Council of State Khalid al-Mishri and Prime Minister Dbeibeh.
Amid efforts for Libya to move forward, putschist leader Khalifa Haftar is still acting independently of the legitimate government and leads an armed militia that controls many areas. He calls himself the "commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army,” contesting the Presidential Council's powers.