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Libya's sovereignty, independence 'important': Turkish defense chief

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

The Turkish military's presence in Libya stems from protecting the rights of the Libyan people, the Turkish defense minister said on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Libya's sovereignty and independence is important. There were some problems when we came here. We made every effort we could make day and night to overcome these problems on land, sea and air. Significant results have been achieved at the point we have reached," Hulusi Akar told military personnel in Tripoli.

Libyan Chief of General Staff Muhammad Ali Ahmad al-Haddad and the military commander of the western region Osama al-Juwaili was also present at the occasion.

"Our Libyan brothers and sisters continue to work shoulder to shoulder with Turkey in order to build the armed forces and modernize and organize their organization," Akar underlined.

He reiterated that Libya belongs to the Libyan people and they are in favor of one Libya.

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"To date, a total of 4,407 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been detected in the country. Some 55 civilians lost their lives due to IED explosions. We will keep doing our best to prevent this from happening again," the Turkish defense minister said.

Akar said Turkey's presence in Libya is also of vital importance in terms of protecting rights, interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey continues its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean under the maritime agreement with Libya, he added.

"Greece's attempts to override this agreement are futile. We are in favor of solving the problems through international law, good neighborhood, dialogue and peaceful methods," he said.

"We respect the sovereign rights and territorial integrity of all our neighbors within the framework of international law," Akar added.

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