Turkey Vows Support for Libya’s UN-Backed Government Won’t Waver

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(Bloomberg) -- Turkey will stand by the UN-recognized government in Libya against military commander Khalifa Haftar “no matter what,” the country’s vice president said.

Turkey will make sure the government in Tripoli isn’t “threatened by any dictator or by any terrorist, like Haftar,” Vice President Fuat Oktay said Friday from Ankara during a virtual event organized by the Atlantic Council and the Turkish Heritage Organization. “We will be there no matter what the outcomes. We are decisive on that.”

Haftar, who controls most of the country’s oil fields, which tap into Africa’s largest reserves, has been supported by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt. The United Nations-backed government based in Tripoli is primarily supported on the ground by Turkey.

The war took a turning point over the last month when Turkey’s military intervention forced Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army and hundreds of Russian mercenaries to withdraw from much of the territory they had seized since starting their offensive in April of last year.

Turkey wants Haftar and countries that support the “illegal power” in Libya to “recognize that there is one legitimate, one single power and government in Libya,” Oktay said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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