Apr 07 2019

Ankara voices concern over ‘increasing tension’ in Libya

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday expressed concern over what it called escalating tension in Libya with a statement on Sunday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

"There has been a great deal of concern over the dangerous escalation in Libya as a result of a military operation against Tripoli," the statement from the ministry said. "Such attempts will not only serve to the detriment of the civilian population and the instability of the country, but will also hamper the political process under UN facilitation."

The statement from the Turkish ministry follows a military campaign launched on Thursday by Libyan National Army leader Khalifa Haftar, to recapture Tripoli from UN-backed Government of National Accord forces, Anadolu said.

Haftar's campaign to recapture Tripoli could complete his successive victories against Islamists in both Benghazi and Derna, further weakening Muslim Brotherhood affiliates and other Islamists in North Africa following their heavy political losses in Egypt and Morocco since 2013.

Tunisia’s Ennahda Islamist party, a partner in a coalition-government with secularists, have expressed concerns over the implications of Haftar's campaign for Tripoli.

The Turkish ministry also called for defusing the tension and bringing peace to the region, the agency said, adding that it  backed UN’s support to return to the political peace process.

Turkey has been accused by Libya of providing Islamist formations in the country with funding and weapons despite an ongoing international embargo, a charge which Turkey denies.

Eight years after the 2011 uprising that ended the 42-year rule and life of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country is currently engaged in a civil war and run by two rival administrations, one centered in the capital Tripoli and the other in eastern cities of Tobruk and Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked.

Libya’s western city of Ghadames is set to host a UN-sponsored “national dialogue” conference on April14, as part of an effort to hammer out a political “roadmap” for the country’s future.