Turkey says 6 nationals held in Libya, vows to respond

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar looks on before posing for a family picture during the NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels on June 27, 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 June 2019
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Turkey says 6 nationals held in Libya, vows to respond

  • Turkey said 6 of its nationals were being held by a Libyan force and vowed to respond to any attacks
  • The comments came after Haftar called Turkish assets in Libya 'legitimate targets,' accusing Ankara of helping rival militias

ANKARA: Turkey said on Sunday six of its nationals were being held by forces of Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar after earlier warning Ankara was ready to retaliate against attacks.
Haftar has ordered attacks on Turkish ships and interests after he recently lost ground to the UN-recognized Libyan government which is also backed by Turkey.
“The detention of six of our citizens by illegal militia forces linked to Haftar is an act of thuggery and piracy. We expect our citizens to be immediately released,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Should this not happen, Haftar elements will become legitimate targets,” it added.
But the ministry did not give any details on where the Turks were being held or when they had been taken by the forces.
A ministry source told AFP there was “no additional information to give at this stage.”
Haftar’ instructed the Libyan National Army (LNA) to target Turkish companies, ban flights and arrest Turkish nationals in Libya, his spokesman said Friday.
After a NATO-backed uprising that led to dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011, Libya was propelled into chaos with militias fighting for control of the country.
Haftar was a retired general who had taken part in the revolt against Qaddafi but in May 2014, he launched his assault to purge the country of extremist terrorists.
The LNA, which holds eastern Libya and much of the country’s south, launched an offensive to take the capital Tripoli in early April.
Anti-Haftar forces recently retook the strategic town of Gharyan in a surprise attack and a major setback for the commander.
Earlier on Sunday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar warned there would be a “heavy price for hostile attitudes or attacks,” in comments to state news agency Anadolu.
“We will retaliate in the most effective and strong way,” Akar said.
He said Turkey’s efforts in Libya sought to “contribute to peace” in the region.
“It should be known that we have taken all kinds of measures to deal with any threat or antagonistic action against Turkey,” Akar added.
He emphasised Turkey’s push to support a political solution in Libya would continue and said Turkish efforts were in line with international law and agreements.
Turkey has a keen interest in Libya, especially since it had been part of the Ottoman Empire until 1912 when the north African country was conquered by Italy.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed his country backs the so-called interim Government of National Accord (GNA) and provides weapons to it under a “military cooperation agreement.”


Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

Updated 29 min 39 sec ago

Yemen’s President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle

  • Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen
  • appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs

DUBAI: President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree on Thursday evening appointing new foreign and finance ministers in a cabinet reshuffle to lead the key state institutions.

In a statement, the president's office, based in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh, said that Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, succeeding Hafedh Meyyad and Salem bin Breik as Minister of Finance, succeeding Minister Al-Fadhli.

The Yemeni president also appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing Khalid Al-Yamani, who resigned last June.

Al-Fadhli becomes the fourth governor of the central bank since its relocation in Aden from the Houthi controlled capital, Sanaa.

The reshuffle comes amid escalating tension between the Hadi’s government and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council (STC) that seized Aden and other neighboring provinces.