Turkish FM says Libya ceasefire contingent on withdrawal of LNA forces from Sirte and Jufra

Alwasat - Cairo Sun 12 Jul 2020, 07:04 PM
alwasat radio

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogluu said that the ceasefire in Libya is contingent on the retreat of Libyan National Army (LNA) forces from Sirte and Jufra.

He added that theGovernment of National Accord (GNA) had "is determinated to resume its attack against the Haftar militia in the event that it did not withdraw from the strategic port of Sirte and the Jufra base which has the largest air defense system in the country," according to statements reported by the Turkish news agency TRT, on Sunday.

He indicated that his country may support any attack by the GNA on preconditions, “as long as this attack was legal and logical,” explaining that Russia submitted a cease-fire agreement plan during the talks with Turkey that took place in Istanbul last month, with specific dates and times, “but the GNA confirmed the necessity of Haftar's exit from Sirte and Jufra after Ankara's consultation, as it stressed the need to return to the 2015 lines of engagement.”

He continued: "Now all of this depends on the other side, they must accept these preconditions for a permanent ceasefire," referring to an investigation to determine the party responsible for the attack on the base, warning that "the perpetrator will pay a heavy price."

The Turkish Ministry of Defense said last Monday that the bombing of the Watiya airbase  would "increases the frequency of clashes." An official at the ministry added that "the bombing did not result in casualties, but rather targeted some of the facilities in the base, which were recently brought in to strengthen defenses, including an air defense system."

 The spokesman for the GNA forces, Colonel Muhammed Gnounou, stated that the strikes on Watiya were  "carried out by foreign aircraft" in support of LNA forces commanded by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

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