World, Middle East

'Turkey’s priority in Libya end of clashes, cease-fire'

Presidential spokesman criticizes global community for not condemning commander Haftar's attacks

Havva Kara Aydin   | 07.01.2020
'Turkey’s priority in Libya end of clashes, cease-fire'

ANKARA

Turkey mainly cares for the immediate end of clashes and announcement of cease-fire in Libya, said the presidential spokesman on Tuesday.

“Turkey’s priority in Libya is the halt of clashes as soon as possible, and a cease-fire,” Ibrahim Kalin told reporters following the Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

Last week Turkey’s parliament passed a motion allowing it to send troops as military aid to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which has been besieged by forces of Khalifa Haftar, a warlord based in eastern Libya.

Separately, Ankara and Tripoli’s GNA signed two separate pacts: one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Kalin also criticized the global community for not condemning attacks by Haftar.

“Haftar gets away with any kind of attack in Libya, the international community even does not condemn [him],” he said.

‘Turkey not seeking role of mediator in US-Iran row’

On the strained relation between the U.S. and Iran, Kalin said Turkey is not seeking a role of mediator between the two countries.

“At this point, we [Turkey] does not have any expectation, demand, or claim to be a mediator. Turkey is among a couple of countries that can talk to both the U.S. and Iran, maybe [it is] the most important one,” he said.

Kalin also said Turkey will continue reiterating its call for acting with common sense and calm amid the U.S.-Iran tension.

Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds Forces, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, vice president of the Hashd al-Shaabi group, or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were assassinated in a U.S. drone strike on Friday in Baghdad.

Soleimani's slaying marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since U.S. President Donald Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.

Iran promised to take revenge for the killing of Soleimani and announced Sunday that it would stop complying with the 2015 nuclear deal. Trump has since threatened to target cultural sites in Iran.

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