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UPDATE - 'Turkish presence in Libya raises hope for peace'

UPDATE - 'Turkish presence in Libya raises hope for peace'
Ankara to continue supporting political solution to end conflict in Libya, says Turkish president

UPDATE WITH MORE REMARKS OF TURKISH PRESIDENT; REVISES HEADLINE, LEDE; EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Mehmet Tosun

ANKARA (AA) - Turkey will continue supporting the political process in Libya both on the ground and at the negotiating table, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him on the plane following the conference in Berlin, Erdogan said Turkey's efforts regarding Libya have brought balance to the process.

Erdogan said Turkey's presence in Libya raises hopes for peace.

According to Erdogan, monthly meetings will be held under the umbrella of the UN in particular to follow the decisions taken today and to focus on Libya's political, military and economic issues.

He stressed that compliance with cease-fire in Libya brokered by Russia and Turkey will pave the way for a political solution.

“We see what kind of games are played under the guise of fighting terrorism [in Libya],” he added.

Regarding questions about sending troops to Libya he pointed out the presence of foreign forces in Libya and said Turkey sent military staff as trainers.

Turkey responded the legal government’s offer and has been doing everything within a legal framework, he said.

Turkey opposed the approach which suggested the EU coordination of the Libya process, Erdogan said, adding that it is not right, given the presence of the UN in the process.

He also said that during the conference he mentioned the Idlib issue and discussed it with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He announced his recently launched campaign to boost living standards of displaced people from Idlib, who are located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) off the Turkish border.

"If we realize our own plans and projects in the region between Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad, these areas will become "cities of peace" he said.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: warlord Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

Libya’s legitimate government had been under attack by Haftar since last April, claiming the lives of more than 1,000 people.

On Jan. 12, the conflict parties announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by the Turkish and Russian leaders. But talks last week for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

On Sunday, Haftar accepted in Berlin to designate members to a UN-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor implementation of the cease-fire.

* Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

source: News Feed
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