Haftar warns Erdogan: Stay out of Libya or you face our bullets

Gen. Khalifa Haftar accused the Turkish president of “coming to Libya in search of his ancestors’ legacy.” (AFP/File)
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Updated 02 August 2020

Haftar warns Erdogan: Stay out of Libya or you face our bullets

  • Eastern military strongman tells Turkish president Libyans will never again be colonized

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was warned on Sunday to keep his forces out of Libya or face an armed response.

The warning came from Libya’s eastern military strongman Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the conflict with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Erdogan has sent Turkish-backed mercenaries from Syria to fight for the GNA, along with artillery and heavy weapons that have turned the tide in its favor. In a speech to troops to mark Eid Al-Adha, Haftar accused the Turkish president of “coming to Libya in search of his ancestors’ legacy.”

He said: “We tell him that we will translate the legacy of your ancestors with bullets.” For any Turkish forces in Libya, there would be “no mercy because they do not deserve mercy.”

Libyans would never accept being occupied by Turks,  and would never again be colonized, Haftar said.

Samuel Ramani, a researcher at the University of Oxford in the UK, told Arab News that Haftar was escalating his rhetoric against Turkey.

“He is really emphasising that his war in Libya is not just a struggle against extremism or terrorist militias aligned with the GNA, but a struggle for Libya’s sovereignty and independence from Turkey’s hegemonic agenda.”

Haftar’s warning to Erdogan follows a verbal spat between Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the UAE, which supports Haftar.

“Abu Dhabi does what it does in Libya, does what it does in Syria. All of it is being recorded. At the right place and time, the accounts will be settled,” Akar said. "It is necessary to ask Abu Dhabi, where this hostility, where these intentions, where this jealousy comes from.”

Gargash responded with a warning to Turkey to stop interfering in Arab affairs. “Colonialist illusions belong to the archives of history,” Gargash said. “Relations between states are not conducted with threats.”

Egypt receives new batch of Russian railroad cars

Updated 42 min 52 sec ago

Egypt receives new batch of Russian railroad cars

CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel Al-Wazir announced that the Alexandria Port would be receiving a new batch of 22 passenger railroad cars, bringing the total of Russian railroad cars so far to 103 vehicles, as part of a deal to manufacture and supply 1,300 new passenger railroad cars.

The deal, signed between the Egyptian Railways Authority and Russian-Hungarian company Transmashholding, is the largest in the history of Egypt’s railways, with a value of €1.16 billion ($1.8 billion).

Al-Wazir confirmed that the 22 railroad cars that arrived are third-class vehicles with dynamic ventilation.

The deal includes 800 air-conditioned vehicles, 500 third-class air-conditioned vehicles (a new service offered to passengers for the first time in the history of Egyptian railways), 180 second-class vehicles, 90 first-class vehicles, 30 air-conditioned buffet vehicles and 500 dynamic ventilated third-class vehicles.

Al-Wazir indicated that 35 vehicles have arrived during the current month, which is the average monthly supply agreed upon with the manufacturer, pointing out that this rate enables the railway authority to form three new trains consisting of tractors and all-new cars that are entered monthly to become part of the line.

Al-Wazir said that the deal contributes to raising the efficiency of the Egyptian railways’ daily operations and schedules. This coincides with the Egyptian Railway Authority’s projects to modernize infrastructure, including signaling systems, crossings, stations and other aspects.

All these projects that the ministry implemented contributed to increasing safety and security in train operations and improving the level of service.

Egypt is seeking to develop its railways, the second oldest in the world, after witnessing unfortunate accidents during the past two decades.

Over the past few years, railways in Egypt have undergone major development, represented by the modernization of the fleet of tractors and vehicles of various classes and the maintenance of trains and old railways.

According to official data, Egypt spent EGP 40 billion ($2.5 billion) on railway development projects during the past six years. Projects at a cost of EGP 86 billion are currently under way, and there is a plan to start implementing others at a cost of EGP 55 billion.