Libya: Haftar rules out negotiations with Turkey in letter to Washington
Rebel General Khalifa Haftar has brushed aside every possibility of talks with Turkey and called on Washington to thwart arm delivery to Ankara-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
In a letter to the Trump administration, Haftar requested from the US an international monitoring of land and sea borders to disallow the arrival of weapons to the internationally recognized GNA, especially from Turkey, Saudi-Emirati Al-Arabiya TV reported.
“We won’t sit down with Turkey in any upcoming negotiations and we want the mercenaries and militias to withdraw and be prohibited from joining any state institutions as GNA is planning,” the letter said.
It is unclear when the East-based Gen. wrote the letter but the news comes as the White House expresses its concerns over the involvement of foreign military forces and mercenaries in Libya.
“We strongly oppose foreign military involvement, including the use of mercenaries and private military contractors, by all sides,” said National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien in a statement.
“The ongoing efforts of foreign powers to exploit the conflict – for example, by establishing an enduring military presence or exerting control over resources that belong to the Libyan people – pose grave threats to regional stability and global commerce,” the statement added.
Underlining that escalation will only deepen and prolong the conflict, the National Security Adviser said Libyans can win only if they come together to reclaim their sovereignty and rebuild a unified country.
The oil-rich country is witnessing a rivalry between Haftar-led camp backed by Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and France, and the GNA upheld by Turkey and Qatar.
The US, though voicing neutrality in the conflict, has been providing support to the GNA through AFRICOM, military forces for Africa.
The GNA with Turkey’s support has managed to derail Haftar’s plans to overrun capital Tripoli. It has pushed Haftar’s forces out its controlled areas except Sirte captured last year.
Turkey also ruled aside any talks with Haftar without takeover of the coastal city known as strategic access to the country’s oil crescent.