MOSCOW: Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s eastern military commander, said he would be ready for a cease-fire if Turkish and Syrian mercenaries left the country and Ankara stopped supplying weapons to Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli, RIA reported.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday confirmed for the first time that pro-Turkish Syrian fighters were present in Libya alongside Ankara’s training personnel.
“Turkey is there with a training force. There are also people from the Syrian National Army,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, referring to the group of rebel fighters formerly known as the Free Syrian Army.
The internationally recognized government on Tuesday suspended talks hosted by the United Nations to halt warfare over Tripoli after eastern forces shelled the capital’s port, killing three people and almost hitting a highly explosive gas tanker.
“A cease-fire (would be) the result of a number of conditions being fulfilled ...the withdrawal of Syrian and Turkish mercenaries, an end to Turkish arms supplies to Tripoli, and the liquidation of terrorist groups (in Tripoli),” Haftar told Russia’s RIA news agency in an interview.