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US diplomat criticizes Russia, Turkey, UAE for intervening in Libya

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Jan 28, 2021

A number one US diplomat slammed Turkish, Russian and Emirati coverage in Libya on Thursday on the United Nations.

Richard Mills, the top of the US mission to the UN, mentioned the three states ought to cease interfering in Libya.

“We call on all external parties, to include Russia, Turkey, and the UAE, to respect Libyan sovereignty and immediately cease all military intervention in Libya,” mentioned Mills, in keeping with a transcript from the US Mission to the United Nations.

Mills spoke at a UN Security Council briefing on Libya. The US consultant at such occasions is normally the US ambassador to the United Nations. However, US President Joe Biden’s nominee, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has but to be confirmed within the Senate.

Libya is embroiled in a civil battle between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord and the eastern-based Libyan National Army. The United States acknowledges the Government of National Accord and Turkey closely helps it militarily. Russia and the United Arab Emirates again the Libyan National Army and its chief, Gen. Khalifa Hifter. Turkey has despatched army forces to the nation, and Russian mercenaries are recognized to be working there in any case.

Mills reiterated the US place in assist of the October cease-fire in Libya, however mentioned exterior powers had been undermining it. “The external actors who have militarily intervened in this conflict have wholly, completely, ignored Libyan demands,” said Mills.

That cease-fire set a three-month deadline for foreign troops to leave Libya; the deadline passed Jan. 23.

“We call on Turkey and Russia to immediately initiate the withdrawal of their forces from the country and the removal of the foreign mercenaries and military proxies that they have recruited, financed, deployed, and supported in Libya,” Mills added.

The statements are similar to those of the previous administration. Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State under former President Donald Trump, said in May that the United States opposed weapons transfers to Libya. In December, he accused Russia of “sowing chaos” within the nation. The identical month, he criticized Turkey for sending Syrian insurgent forces to battle in Libya.

Pompeo’s rebuke of Turkey’s Libya policy came late in the Trump presidency, however, and was related to the administration’s opposition to Turkey purchasing the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

In contrast, the Biden administration is taking a more critical stance on Turkish policy from the start. Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, called Turkey a “so-called partner” during his January confirmation hearing due to the S-400 purchase. Mills’ comments on Turkish actions in Libya add to this criticism from the Biden administration.

The Trump administration also did not rebuke its ally UAE’s foreign policy in Libya, while Mills named Abu Dhabi explicitly at the meeting.

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