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Security sources: 'Turkey troops remain in Libya at GNA's request'

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar receives Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Libya, Mohamed Ali al-Haddad in Ankara, Turkey on October 19, 2020 [Arif Akdoğan - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar receives Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Libya, Mohamed Ali al-Haddad in Ankara, Turkey on October 19, 2020 [Arif Akdoğan - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish security sources stated that Turkish troops will remain in Libya for as long as the Government of National Accord (GNA) wishes.

The Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission agreed that the Turkish forces would return to bases and exchange detainees, during the two-day meeting to discuss mechanisms for implementing a permanent ceasefire in Libya.

Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Stephanie Williams confirmed: "The Joint Military Commission has agreed to form a military committee to oversee the return of forces to their bases and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the front line," without providing further details.

The Libyan Joint Military Commission includes five representatives of the legal Libyan government and five members of General Khalifa Haftar's militia.

As for the agreement, Anadolu Agency's sources confirmed Turkey's continued support for an independent and sovereign Libya that embraces all Libyans.

READ: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Libya?

The sources reiterated Turkey's support for a political process between the parties to the conflict in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions, in order to establish security and stability in the country and preserve its territorial integrity.

The sources indicated that Turkish authorities welcome any concrete steps in this regard, stressing that the GNA is the legitimate leadership of the country.

The sources pointed out that Turkey continues to provide education, healthcare and humanitarian assistance to Libya, in addition to military support, as part of its commitment to the agreement concluded with the GNA.

A round of Libyan talks was launched under the auspices of the United Nations on 26 October, via video conferencing, while the direct meeting will be hosted by Tunisia on 9 November.

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