Libya’s Haftar ‘nothing but a pirate’: Erdogan

Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar. (Filippo Monteforte / AFP)
Updated 04 July 2019

Libya’s Haftar ‘nothing but a pirate’: Erdogan

  • Turkey supports the internationally recognized national unity government in Tripoli
  • Six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by General Haftar’s forces this week after he blamed Turkey for his loss of a key town

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar as “nothing but a pirate” in comments published Thursday amid rising tensions in the North African country.
Turkey supports the internationally recognized national unity government in Tripoli, which Haftar has been trying to overthrow from his base in the east of the country.
Six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by General Haftar’s forces this week after he blamed Turkey for his loss of a key town.
“Haftar is nothing but a pirate,” Erdogan told reporters in comments published in several local newspapers.
“We hope that in a short while an opportunity for Libya to hold elections emerges and the people take the chance to represent their rights democratically,” he added.
Erdogan confirmed in June that Turkey was provided weapons to the Tripoli government, saying it was necessary to “rebalance” the fight against Haftar, who has the backing of Turkey’s rivals, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.


Israel approves new settlement 2 days before polls: official

Updated 2 min 58 sec ago

Israel approves new settlement 2 days before polls: official

  • Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet agreed to turn the wildcat settlement of Mevoot Yericho in the Jordan Valley into an official settlement

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government approved a new settlement in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, his office said, just two days ahead of closely fought general elections.

Netanyahu’s cabinet agreed to turn the wildcat settlement of Mevoot Yericho in the Jordan Valley into an official settlement, the premier’s office said.

All settlements are viewed as illegal under international law, but Israel distinguishes between those it has approved and those it has not.

Sunday’s approval follows Netanyahu’s pledge last week to annex the Jordan Valley, which amounts to one-third of the West Bank, if he wins Tuesday’s elections.

“The government passed the PM’s motion to build Mevoot Yericho,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said as the weekly cabinet meeting was convened ceremoniously in the Jordan Valley.

Netanyahu has also said he intends to annex settlements in the wider West Bank, but in coordination with US President Donald Trump, whose long-awaited peace plan is expected to be released after the election.

The prime minister’s annexation plans could effectively destroy any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians, the European Union and the United Nations condemned Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley announcement last week.

Netanyahu said the Jordan Valley annexation would not include Palestinian cities such as Jericho, but it would effectively be encircled by Israeli territory.

Netanyahu is locked in a tough re-election battle with ex-military chief Benny Gantz and his Blue and White centrist alliance, and right-wing nationalist votes are key for his Likud.