Turkey, Russia seek lasting cease-fire in Libya

Fighters loyal to the UN-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) secure the area of Abu Qurain, half-way between the capital Tripoli and Libya's second city Benghazi, against forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, who is based in eastern Benghazi, on July 20, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 23 July 2020

Turkey, Russia seek lasting cease-fire in Libya

  • The Turkish and Russian delegations will consider creating a joint working group on Libya

ANKARA: Turkish and Russian delegations met on Wednesday in Turkey’s capital to discuss the war in Libya and agreed to press ahead with efforts for a lasting cease-fire in the North African country, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said.

A joint statement released after the meeting said the sides — who back rival parties in the conflict — had agreed to work together and encourage Libya’s opposing factions to create “conditions for a lasting and sustainable cease-fire.” They also agreed to joint efforts to advance a political dialogue.

Turkish-backed forces allied with the UN-supported government in Tripoli, the capital, are mobilizing on the edges Sirte and have vowed to retake the Mediterranean city, along with the inland Jufra air base, from rival
forces commanded by Khalifa Haftar. Haftar’s forces are based in the east.

The Turkish and Russian delegations will consider creating a joint working group on Libya and were scheduled to hold more consultations in Moscow “in the near future,” according to the statement.

The meeting between Turkish and Russian officials comes amid heightened tensions between powers supporting the rival factions in the Libyan conflict.

This week, Egypt’s Parliament authorized the deployment of troops outside of the country in a move that threatened to escalate the spiraling war and bring Egypt and Turkey into a direct confrontation.

Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who was later killed.

Drawn by Haftar’s anti-Islamist stance, foreign powers have provided his forces with critical military assistance. Russia has also emerged as a key supporter of Haftar, sending hundreds of mercenaries through the Wagner Group, a private military company.

First UAE delegation lands in Israel

Updated 4 min 6 sec ago

First UAE delegation lands in Israel

DUBAI: The first official UAE delegation landed in Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on Tuesday, TV news channel Al-Arabiya reported.
The officials were greeted by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the report added, and will remain in the area of the airport due to coronavirus regulations. The whole visit will last for five hours.
The trilateral meetings between Israel, US and UAE will include Netanyahu, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Assistant to the President Avi Berkowitz, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer and UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al-Marri.
UAE’s Director of Strategic Communications at the Ministry of Foreign Affaris Hend Al-Otaiba posted an image of an Etihad plane with a caption saying “this morning UAE prepares to send its first official delegation to Israel, led by HE Obaid Al Tayer and HE Abdulla Bin Touq, and accompanied by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.”