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Monday, April 6, 2020

Libya’s Haftar ready for ceasefire if Turkish, Syrian mercenaries leave

Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar said he would be ready for a ceasefire if Turkish and Syrian mercenaries left the country and Ankara stopped supplying weapons to Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli, RIA reported.

The UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj, on Tuesday suspended talks hosted by the United Nations to halt warfare over Tripoli after the LNA shelled the capital’s port, killing three people and almost hitting a highly explosive gas tanker.

“A ceasefire (would be) the result of a number of conditions being fulfilled …the withdrawal of Syrian and Turkish mercenaries, and 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.

“Erdogan and al-Sarraj’s gangs and mercenaries continue to violate agreements, and our patience has begun to run out,” he said.

The commander also said the LNA does not mind having EU countries patrol the frontlines to observe the ceasefire.

“We support the presence of naval European patrols preventing Turkey from continuing to transport arms and mercenaries to Tripoli,” he added.

General Haftar launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias that include hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda and others.

General Haftar has reportedly received support from international allies opposed to extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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