Turkey will support Libya’s GNA despite Sarraj plan to quit, says Erdogan spokesman

President Erdogan meeting with Libya’s GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj in Istanbul, Turkey, on September 6, 2020. (Reuters)

Turkey’s agreements and cooperation with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) will continue despite Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s desire to quit, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin was quoted as saying on Monday.

In June, Turkish military support helped Sarraj’s GNA repel an assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

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Ankara has been accused of sending thousands of Syrian mercenaries to Libya to fight alongside the GNA after al-Sarraj's government signed a controversial maritime agreement that gave Turkey drilling rights over vast swathes of the eastern Mediterranean.

President Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey was upset by Sarraj’s announcement that he planned to quit, but Kalin said Turkish support for the GNA and their bilateral agreements, which include a security pact signed last year, would continue.

Turkish officials may travel to Tripoli “in the coming days” to discuss developments, he added.

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“These accords will not be impacted by this political period because these are decisions made by the government, not by any individual,” Kalin told Demiroren News Agency.

The GNA declared a ceasefire last month and called for the lifting of a months-long blockade on oil output. The leader of a rival parliament in eastern Libya also appealed for a halt to hostilities, offering hope for a de-escalation of the conflict across Libya since a 2011 uprising.

Haftar dismissed the calls, but said on Friday he would lift for one month his blockade on oil outputs and that he had agreed with the GNA on “fair distribution” of energy revenue.

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Last Update: Monday, 21 September 2020 KSA 19:24 - GMT 16:24
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