Libya’s al-Sarraj in Algeria, expected to meet Turkey FM for talks

Algeria’s President Tebboune (R) meets with al-Sarraj upon his arrival in Algiers on January 6, 2020 for talks on the Libyan crisis. (AFP)

The head of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) arrived in Algeria on Monday to discuss increasing tensions in his country and is expected to meet with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Algiers.

Since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed longstanding dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has been plunged into chaos. It is now divided between the GNA led by al-Sarraj and rival authorities based in the country’s east.

Al-Sarraj is fighting a civil war against an alternative government based in the eastern city of Benghazi whose forces are led by General Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias that include hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda and others. General Haftar has reportedly received support from international allies opposed to extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The GNA sought help from Turkey where parliament passed a bill allowing the government to send troops to Libya to shore up the Tripoli government, and on Sunday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said soldiers had begun deploying in the North African country.

The Algerian presidency said al-Sarraj arrived on Monday as the head of a high-ranking delegation to “discuss ways to resolve the difficult situation” in Libya during talks with newly-elected Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the official APS news agency reported.

Algerian state television said the GNA’s foreign and interior ministers, Mohamed Taha Siala and Fathi Bachagha, met their Algerian counterparts Sabri Boukadoum and Kamel Beldjoud.

According to the United Nations, Turkey has already supplied military equipment to forces loyal to the GNA, including tanks and drones.

RELATED: Libyan National Army gains control of third largest district in Libya’s Sirte

On Thursday, Algerian Foreign Minister Boukadoum announced “several initiatives in favor of a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis” and reaffirmed his country’s opposition to foreign interference in Libya.

Algeria shares nearly 1,000 km of border with Libya and 1,400 km with Mali.

After taking office in December, Tebboune convened Algeria’s top security body to discuss the situation at its borders, notably with Libya.

(with AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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