Monday, March 8, 2021

US requires withdrawal of Russian, Turkish forces from Libya

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US ambassador calls on Russia, Turkey and the UAE to right away stop navy intervention in Libya after deadline for international troops to withdraw handed.

The United States has known as for the rapid withdrawal of Russian and Turkish forces from Libya after a deadline for them to go away was ignored.

Under an UN-backed ceasefire signed in October final yr, international troops and mercenaries have been to drag out of Libya inside three months.

That deadline handed on Saturday with no motion introduced or noticed on the bottom.

“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,” the appearing US ambassador Richard Mills mentioned on Thursday throughout a UN Security Council assembly on Libya, which has seen a decade of combating for the reason that overthrow of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

“Per the October ceasefire agreement, 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,” mentioned Mills.

The assertion comes a yr after a Berlin summit introduced collectively backers of the primary warring factions in Libya, with world leaders pledging to finish international interference and work in direction of a everlasting ceasefire.

Reporting from the UN, Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Editor James Bays mentioned that newest developments have been prone to “concentrate minds in Turkey and the UAE about how they will deal with the new Biden administration”.

He highlighted that the White House placed on maintain an arms gross sales deal agreed by the Trump administration to promote 50 F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.

Foreign troops

The UN estimates there are about 20,000 international troops and mercenaries serving to the opposing sides in Libya: The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and renegade navy commander Khalifa Haftar within the east.

Turkey backs the GNA. It additionally has a navy base in Al-Watiya on the border with Tunisia underneath a 2019 navy accord.

Last December, Ankara prolonged by 18 months its authorisation for Turkey’s troop deployment in Libya, in obvious disregard of the ceasefire deal.

Haftar has the backing of the UAE, France, Egypt and Russia.

Most of the international forces are concentrated round Sirte, at Al-Jufra air base held by Haftar’s forces 500km (300 miles) south of Tripoli and additional west in Al-Watiya.

Moscow denies any hyperlink to the mercenaries, however UN specialists final May confirmed the presence of fighters of the Wagner group, allegedly near Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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