By Baris Seckin
ROME (AA) - Libya’s deputy prime minister said Tuesday that Turkey was the only country to stand with Libya as it passed through difficult times and he is thankful for it.
Ahmed Maiteeq made evaluations about the process in Libya while taking part in the Mediterranean Dialogue Forum in Rome via video link.
While noting that Libya received support from many places when it was attacked by Daesh in the past, things were different when warlord Khalifa Haftar and his militia attacked Tripoli in April 2019.
"We called on our partners to support the legitimate government of Libya. Turkey responded favorably. Only Turkey was next to us in the international arena that we found supporting the legitimate government. We are grateful to have it standing with us,” Maiteeq said.
He said it was success story that Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), had set Dec. 24, 2021 as the country's election date.
He noted that the presidential council and the mechanisms for how the president will be elected will be determined Wednesday.
Maiteeq said his meeting with Haftar in September was more about the Libyan economy and the necessity of lifting the blockade on oil exports and reflecting this on revenues and reviving the Libyan economy.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar's forces.
The UN recognizes al-Sarraj's government as the country's legitimate authority, which also enjoys support from Turkey.
Tripoli has been battling Haftar's militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.