Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Ankara reaffirms support to Libya’s efforts for reconcilia­tion


TURKEY has reiterated its support to Libya’s stability and efforts aimed at achieving reconcilia­tion in the war-torn nation, while Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah most recently said a roadmap for conducting the stalled elections in June will be announced within two days.

Turkish Ambassador in Tripoli Kenan Yılmaz met Saturday with Abdullah al-Lafi, the deputy leader of Libya’s Presidency Council, to discuss political developmen­ts in Libya, according to a statement issued by the Presidency Council.

Al-Lafi hailed Turkish support to Libya over the past years, saying efforts to enhance bilateral cooperatio­n to serve the interests of the two nations will continue. On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed that Turkey will continue to extend all kinds of support to Libya.

Erdoğan said Turkey prefers to help the Libyan people to hold an election for “a prosperous and peaceful future.”

“We want such an election that will bring a government the Libyan people really want and desire,” he added.

Turkey and Libya have seen closer ties in recent years, especially after the signing of security and maritime boundary pacts in November 2019, along with Turkey’s aid to help the legitimate Libyan government push back putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s forces. Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Turkey has supported the country’s United Nations recognized government against the putschist Haftar.

Libya’s polls were scheduled to take place on Dec. 24 but were postponed amid disagreeme­nts between political rivals. No new date for the vote has been agreed upon.

On Feb. 10, the Libyan House of Representa­tives named former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha to form a new government.

Incumbent Premier Dbeibah, however, rejected parliament’s move, saying that he will hand over power only to an elected government.

The U.N. said it still recognizes Dbeibah as Libya’s interim prime minister.

“The roadmap for holding the elections in June will be announced Saturday or the day after,” Dbeibah said at a ceremony marking the 11th anniversar­y of the 2011 Libyan revolution that toppled Libyan ruler Gadhafi.

He reiterated his rejection of transition­al periods, stressing that the polls are the only option for Libyans.

“You (Libyans) decide the elections, and the world must hear this voice and what the people want, and we tell everyone yes to the elections, no to the transition­al periods,” he said.

“We can’t fight anymore, and whoever wants to bring us back to fighting, we tell them no to war and yes to peace. Our goal today is to achieve stability by holding elections,” he announced.

Libyans on Thursday marked 11 years since the revolt that toppled Gadhafi, but the democracy many hoped for seems as elusive as ever, and many fear a return to conflict.

The anniversar­y comes as the country, for years plagued by divisions between east and west, finds itself with two rival prime ministers based in the capital Tripoli.

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