As Libya peace is set to be discussed second time in a week, Turkish president said Saturday Turkey is key to peace in the war-weary country.
Ahead of Sunday’s Berlin conference on Libya, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Politico, a policy news organization, that “it would be a mistake of historic proportions to leave Libya at the mercy of a warlord.”
Erdogan’s remarks came in an article titled Road to peace in Libya goes through Turkey.
Turkish president warned the Europe against new threats if it fails to back Libya’s internationally recognized government, Government of National Accord (GNA).
“EU’s potential failure to adequately support Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) would be a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights,” Erdogan said.
''Moreover, Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya’s legitimate government were to fall,'' he added.
Erdogan also said “obvious choice for Europe is to work with Turkey” as it is not much interested in providing military support to Libya.
Turkey will train Libya’s security forces and help them fight terrorism, human trafficking and other grave threats against global security, he added.
On Jan. 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by Turkish and Russian leaders.
But talks for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement on Monday after Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.
- Peace talks in Germany
Germany is set to host a major peace conference on Libya that will seek a stronger commitment from regional actors for a cease-fire in the war-torn country to pave the way for a political solution.
Stressing that the EU needs to show the world that it is “a relevant actor in the international arena,” Erdogan said: “The upcoming peace conference in Berlin is a very significant step toward that goal.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel invited leaders from Turkey, Russia, the U.S., China, France, the U.K. and other regional actors to a single-day conference in Berlin, amid a fragile cease-fire between Libya’s internationally recognized government and forces loyal to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.
By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur