Russia and Turkey call for a cessation of hostilities in Libya
The Russian and Turkish foreign ministers on Thursday called for a cessation of hostilities in Libya, after speaking by phone to analyze the situation in the North African nation. This conversation took place several hours after Field Marshal and Libyan National Army leader Jalifa Haftar warned of a new “campaign of airstrikes in the coming hours.” The two diplomats have also called on rival factions to return to the UN political process.
In response to Haftar’s announcement, the Government of National Accord (GNA) has carried out a series of airstrikes against forces loyal to the rebel marshal. Colonel Mohamed Qanunu explained that his militias have participated in five air operations in the city of Tarhuna, destroying at least two military vehicles and one ammunition carrier during his intervention, according to Al Monitor.
Russia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, supports the self-styled Haftar army, but denies sending fighters to Libya, while Turkey and Qatar support the internationally recognized Government based in Tripoli. The telephone conversation between the Turkish and Russian foreign ministers took place three days after the presidents of both countries discussed the latest developments in the North African nation.
“They indicated the need to immediately resume the permanent truce and intra-Libyan dialogue based on the resolutions of the Berlin International Conference of January 19, 2020, approved by Resolution 2510 of the United Nations Security Council,” underlined a statement issued by the Kremlim that has been collected by Al Monitor.
In addition, the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, Germany and France have analyzed in recent days the unstable situation of the Libyan conflict and the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, among other issues. “We note with great concern that the call for a humanitarian ceasefire, especially now in the month of Ramadan, has been largely ineffective. Instead, the country is immersed in a spiral of escalating violence with continuous fighting, “according to information published in The National newspaper.
In the last month, the National Accord Government has achieved several military victories in the west of the country, thanks to the air and logistical support of Turkey, a support that has not been viewed with favor by much of the international community. European nations have tried to reduce violence in Libya by preventing the massive influx of weapons, military equipment and mercenaries. United Nations envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, alerted the Security Council this week that the escalation of fighting, fueled by an avalanche of foreign-supplied weapons and mercenaries, was at risk of “turning the Libyan conflict in a pure war of power ”.