Tuesday, November 28, 2023

United States calls for withdrawal of Russian and Turkish forces from Libya | News from Libya

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The US Ambassador calls on Russia, Turkey and the UAE to immediately cease all military intervention in Libya after the expiry of the deadline for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

The United States has called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian and Turkish forces from Libya after the deadline for their departure was ignored.

Under a UN-backed ceasefire signed in October last year, foreign troops and mercenaries were to withdraw from Libya within three months.

This deadline passed Saturday without any movement having been announced or observed on the ground.

“We call on all external parties, to include Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, to respect Libyan sovereignty and immediately cease all military intervention in Libya,” Acting US Ambassador Richard Mills said on Thursday. ‘a UN Security Council meeting on Libya, which has seen a decade of fighting since the overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“In accordance with the October ceasefire agreement, we call on Turkey and Russia to immediately begin the withdrawal of their forces from the country and the withdrawal of the foreign mercenaries and military proxies that they have recruited, funded , deployed and supported in Libya, ”said Mills.

The statement comes a year after a Berlin summit brought together supporters of the main warring factions in Libya, with world leaders pledging to end foreign interference and work for a ceasefire. permanent fire.

In a UN report, Al Jazeera diplomatic editor James Bays said the latest developments were likely to “focus minds in Turkey and the UAE on how they will treat the new Biden administration.”

He pointed out that the White House had suspended an arms deal agreed to by the Trump administration to sell 50 F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.

Foreign troops

The UN estimates that there are around 20,000 foreign soldiers and mercenaries assisting opposing parties in Libya: the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and the renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar in the East.

Turkey supports the GNA. It also has a military base in Al-Watiya on the border with Tunisia as part of a 2019 military agreement.

Last December, Ankara extended its authorization for the deployment of Turkish troops in Libya by 18 months, in apparent defiance of the ceasefire agreement.

Haftar enjoys the support of the United Arab Emirates, France, Egypt and Russia.

Most of the foreign forces are concentrated around Sirte, at the Al-Jufra air base held by Haftar’s forces 500 km south of Tripoli and further west at Al-Watiya.

Moscow denies any connection to the mercenaries, but UN experts last May confirmed the presence of fighters from the Wagner group, allegedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


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