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GNA-Turkey military agreements will continue, Libya commander says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Libyan Government of National Unity Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh attend the signing ceremony between two countries at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2021 [ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Libyan Government of National Unity Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh attend the signing ceremony between two countries at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 12, 2021 [ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images]

The Libyan army will not withdraw from the military agreement signed between Turkey and Libya despite the demands of the 5+5 joint military committee, a Libyan commander has said.

The commander of Western Military Zone's Joint Operations Room, Major General Osama Juwaili stated on social media that "agreements with Turkey were requested by the legitimate GNA [Government of National Accord] to help repel the offensive on Tripoli, while Russia and other countries that have troops on the ground in Libya have no legitimate agreements with the government."

The 5+5 joint military committee, officially named as the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, is made up of five senior military officers from the Libyan government and five chosen by renegade General Khalifa Haftar who head the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Turkey has troops in Tripoli, which it argues were sent under a bilateral agreement with the government, implying that they are not affected by a request for foreign troops to leave.

Last May, Turkey's Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar and the head of the Turkish General Staff, Yasar Guler, visited Tripoli and were welcomed by interim Government of National Unity Army General Staff, Mohamed Al-Haddad, along with Abdulbasit Marwan and Osama Juwaili.

On 23 October last year, the United Nations announced a permanent ceasefire agreement had been signed between Libya's warring rivals during a meeting of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.

Last February, Libya's rival political groups agreed, during UN-mediated talks in Geneva, to form an interim government to lead the country to elections on 24 December 2021.

READ: What is Haftar up to in Libya?

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