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Turkey: ‘Haftar is not loyal to any agreement’

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin holds a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 21 September, 2018 [Erçin Top/Anadolu Agency]

Libyan warlord Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar is not loyal to any international agreement, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

Ambassador İbrahim Kalin made his comment in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Kalin discussed the situation in Libya, where Turkey has sent troops in support of the UN-backed Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). He insisted that the military support given by Ankara to the GNA headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj against the forces of arch rival Haftar has provided some “balance” to the conflict.

The Turkish official confirmed that Haftar’s troops have retreated from the Libyan capital and singled out the involvement of foreign mercenaries from Africa as well as those supplied by Russia’s Wagner Group. Earlier this year, Erdogan said that more than 2,000 Russian mercenaries were fighting in Libya.

READ: Libya’s Haftar seeks to rouse forces against Turkey

According to a recent UN report, Western mercenaries working for companies based in the UAE were sent to Libya a few months ago to support Haftar.

Kalin that that this illustrated the UAE’s support for the renegade officer who, he insisted, has broken every single agreement and every single ceasefire.

In closing, Kalin stressed that Turkey is looking for a political solution in Libya, which has been without central government control for nine years. Indeed, since 2014 it has had to contend with two rival governments, one in the east and the other in the west of the North African country.

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