Turkey urges France to stop supporting Haftar in Libya

Turkey urges France to stop supporting Haftar in Libya

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Turkey urges France to stop supporting Haftar in Libya

Khalifa Haftar and Emmanuel Macron at the Libyan peace talks in Berlin. (AFP Photo)

Turkey on Jan. 29 urged France to stop supporting Libya's renegade commander Khalifa Haftar.

"If France wants to contribute to the implementation of decisions taken at the [Berlin] Conference, it should first stop supporting Haftar," Hami Aksoy, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

Aksoy's remarks came in response to French President Emmanuel Macron'sremarks during a joint news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Holding France responsible for the Libyan crisis that emerged in 2011, Aksoy said France "unconditionally supports Haftar to have its say on the natural resources in Libya".

Haftar's attack on the legitimate government is a threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Libya, he added.

Underlining that a permanent cease-fire should immediately be achieved in Libya as discussed at the Berlin Conference, Aksoy said his country expects from France that it plays a positive role in establishing security and stability in Libya.

On Jan. 12, parties in Libya announced a ceasefire in response to a joint call by the leaders of Turkey and Russia. But two days later in Russia, talks for a permanent ceasefire ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

A week later, Haftar accepted terms in Berlin to designate members to a U.N.-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and another in Tripoli, which enjoys U.N. and international recognition.