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Turkey urges powers supporting Haftar to rethink

Turkey on Tuesday called on all powers supporting Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar to “rethink their position and invest” in the Libyan government.

“Thanks to Turkey’s support for the legitimate government of Libya, the destabilizing and illegitimate Haftar forces are losing ground in Libya. All those powers supporting Haftar must rethink their position and invest in the legitimate government for peace and stability,” Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s communications director, said on Twitter.

Under the guidance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Altun said Turkey is “a capable country that can pursue terrorists in Syria and Iraq while supporting our brothers and sisters in Libya simultaneously.”

The Libyan Army has recently made gains against Haftar's militias, which are supported by France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya's government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal. Since April 2019, the government has been under attack by Haftar's forces, based in eastern Libya, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Situation in Syria, Iraq 

Stressing that Turkey will not tolerate terrorists who are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Syria and northern Iraq, Altun said his country would not allow another humanitarian crisis in Idlib, northwestern Syria.

“Turkey’s commitment to keeping stability and peace in the region has been clear. We’ve committed significant military, economic, and humanitarian resources to realize this end. Any terrorist who think they can derail our efforts is gravely mistaken,” he added.

Referring to agreements on Syria, Altun said Turkey is “ready to enforce the terms of the agreement” if other fails to do their part.

This March, Ankara and Moscow agreed on a protocol urging parties to “cease all military actions along the line of contact in the Idlib de-escalation area.”

The protocol said joint Turkish-Russian patrols would begin on March 15 along the M4 highway from the settlement of Trumba – 2 km (1.2 miles) to the west of Saraqib – to the settlement of Ain al-Havr.

Idlib has long been under siege by Assad regime forces and its allies, and previous cease-fires for the region were plagued by violations.

Turkey has worked to protect the local civilian population as well as rid the wider region of terrorist elements.

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