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Libya ceasefire now wouldn’t benefit Tripoli govt, Turkish FM says

Libya ceasefire now wouldn’t benefit Tripoli govt, Turkish FM says

Turkey dismissed prospects of any imminent ceasefire in Libya on Monday, saying any deal incorporating the existing frontlines would not benefit the Ankara-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state broadcaster TRT Haber that the coastal city of Sirte and Jufra air base need to be turned over to the GNA before it agrees to a ceasefire.

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of commander Khalifa Haftar has been on the back foot, after Turkish support helped the GNA turn back the LNA’s 14-month assault on the capital, Tripoli. Asked about a possible operation against LNA-held Sirte, Cavusoglu said a diplomatic effort was underway to resolve the issue.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan had spoken by telephone, the Kremlin press service said on Monday. They discussed Syria and Libya, where Moscow and Ankara back rival sides. The presidents “once again stressed the need for the soonest end to the armed conflict in Libya and the soonest return to negotiations” and “agreed to activate joint political-diplomatic efforts in this area.”

The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that it is also continuing to work for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the political process in Libya, Reuters reports.