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15 Jan, 2020 13:32

Too early to say ceasefire in Libya has collapsed – Turkish defense minister

Too early to say ceasefire in Libya has collapsed – Turkish defense minister

Turkey said on Wednesday it was too early to say whether the ceasefire in Libya has collapsed after Khalifa Haftar, commander of the eastern Libyan forces, failed to sign a binding truce this week.

Russo-Turkish talks in Moscow aimed to halt Haftar’s nine-month campaign to seize the Libyan capital, Tripoli from forces aligned with the internationally-recognized government of Fayez al-Sarraj.

“We cannot say that the ceasefire has collapsed, it’s much too early for such an interpretation,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters in Ankara. He added that Ankara was awaiting the outcome of diplomacy by Moscow, Reuters reports. Turkey backs Sarraj’s government.

Turkey has sent a training and cooperation team which is now active in Libya, Akar said. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey would “teach a lesson” to Haftar if his attacks on the Tripoli-based government continue. On Sunday, Germany will host a summit on Libya involving the rival camps.