Turkey expects Russia to convince Haftar for cease-fire

Turkey expects Russia to convince Libya's renegade general Khalifa Haftar for a cease-fire, the country's foreign minister said on Saturday.

"Turkey's expectation from its Russian friends is to convince general Khalifa Haftar for a cease-fire in Libya based on what was agreed upon by the Turkish and Russian presidents," said Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at a joint news conference with his Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey in Istanbul.

On Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin urged a cease-fire in Libya by Jan. 12 following a meeting in Istanbul.

The UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli welcomed the call for cease-fire while Haftar rejected the call.

When it comes to a political solution, Turkey has no problem with dialogue with anyone, including Haftar, Cavusoglu said, but firstly Haftar will have to abide by the cease-fire and stop the aggression, then go to the political process.

Some neighboring countries in the region are trying to disrupt this cease-fire, the foreign minister said and accused France of undermining effort for peace in Libya.

"It is France that has caused the chaos in Libya to continue by giving all kinds of support, including weapon to an illegitimate administration," Cavusoglu said and added France, at the same time, is speaking out against Turkey.

On April 4, Haftar launched an offensive to capture the capital Tripoli from GNA. According to the UN, over a thousand people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 injured.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

Meanwhile, commenting on cease-fire in Idlib, which will start just after midnight on Sunday, Jan. 12, Cavusoglu said: "I hope the ceasefire in Idlib that gets effective tonight will be permanent.

I hope Russia can keep the Assad regime under control and convince the regime that the only solution is the political solution," he said.

On Friday, Turkey's National Defense Ministry announced that Turkey and Russia have agreed on the implementation of the cease-fire within the Idlib de-escalation zone, stopping the air/ground attacks, preventing loss of life and new migratory flows with the purpose of contributing to the normalization of life."

For her part, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said Turkey not only in Africa, but also in the world works for peace and stability, adding: "I know and appreciate your efforts in Libya and the Middle East."

"Please continue your efforts. We stand behind you, support you and will continue to do our best in every way possible, " Botchwey noted.

Source: Anadolu Agency