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Turkey vows to ‘defend’ Tripoli-based govt against Haftar ‘dictatorship’ in Libya

Turkey vows to ‘defend’ Tripoli-based govt against Haftar ‘dictatorship’ in Libya

Ankara on Wednesday accused eastern Libya’s commander Khalifa Haftar of seeking to “create a military dictatorship” and vowed to “defend” the country's Tripoli-based government.

Haftar, who controls swathes of eastern Libya, launched an offensive in April last year to seize Tripoli. He said on Monday that his self-styled army had “accepted the will of the people and its mandate.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said that, with this announcement, Haftar “has once again demonstrated that he does not seek a political solution to the crisis in Libya, does not support international efforts in this regard… and aims to create a military dictatorship in the country.”

The Turkish government backs Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord in the capital Tripoli, and had earlier dispatched troops and pro-Turkish Syrian fighters there, AFP said.