Haftar’s Cairo statement for ceasefire in Libya ‘stillborn’: Turkish FM

Haftar’s Cairo statement for ceasefire in Libya ‘stillborn’: Turkish FM

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Libyan renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s recent attempt for a ceasefire in Libya, supported by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, is “stillborn,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.

“Call for a ceasefire in Cairo was stillborn,” the minister told daily Hürriyet.

The attempt is void for Turkey, the daily quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying on June 10 as he stipulated a ceasefire initiative in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations.

The minister recalled that Haftar avoided signing ceasefire agreements in Moscow and Berlin and that on the contrary he increased his aggressiveness and did not approach the ceasefire despite all this effort. Çavuşoğlu questioned why the commander now went to Egypt and made a joint ceasefire statement.

After the recent victories of the Government of National Accord (GNA) on the field, and when Haftar started to lose, he attempted to call for a ceasefire, the minister said.

“This is neither convincing nor sincere. The ceasefire effort in Cairo was stillborn. If a truce was to be signed, it should be done together on platforms like Moscow or Berlin, where everyone came together. A ceasefire is permanent only if it is accepted by both sides. But Haftar has never approached this. There is no National Reconciliation Government in Cairo, no other countries. The call for a ceasefire to save Haftar does not seem sincere and credible to us,” he stated.

“If a consensus is reached on a platform, where everyone comes together under the umbrella of the United Nations, that ceasefire will be credible and permanent,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He emphasized that talks with Russia were on the agenda for a transition process in Libya. Recalling that Turkey and Russia have made joint efforts for a ceasefire in Libya in the past, the minister noted both the presidents of the two countries, along with the foreign ministers have recently discussed the matter on the phone.

“We clearly told them that we did not find the Cairo statement correct, but unrealistic and insincere, so we would not support it. We will have talks with the Russians on Libya in the coming days,” he stated.

Citing the Russian aircrafts deployed to Libya aiming to support Haftar forces, the minister said, “The aircrafts of Russia are taking off from Syria, some of them do not return. NATO determined this, and we did. Everybody and the world know. We talked with the Russians. We are ready to meet with everyone, including Russia, in order not to increase tension,” in Libya.

Avoiding complying with the truce, Haftar lost his credibility in the eyes of international actors and has no say in the transition process, Çavuşoğlu said.

“In the past, everyone acknowledged that Haftar had a role. But now Haftar has lost this chance. He did not comply with the ceasefire. He declared that he did not recognize the political agreement and said that he seized the country’s administration. Haftar fell to a position where he became a pirate coup plotter. Of course, the Libyans will decide, but such a person should not have a role in the Libyan administration, because the putschists should not be here. Haftar missed that opportunity,” he said.

Recalling a recent conversation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, on a possible cooperation on the issue of Libya, Çavuşoğlu said the ministers and security officials of the two countries will conduct a study and present it to the leaders.

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