Najla al-Manqoush, foreign minister of Libya’s interim government, called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libyan soil on Monday and urged Turkey to implement “UN resolutions” demanding the repatriation of more than 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya.
She appealed to Turkey to help bolster a seven-month-old ceasefire.
“We call on [Turkey] to take steps to implement all the provisions of … the Security Council resolutions and to cooperate together to expel all foreign forces and mercenaries from the Libyan territories in order to preserve the sovereignty [of Libya],” al-Mangoush said.
She stressed the “importance of Turkey’s contribution to ending fighting and the stabilisation of the ceasefire throughout the country.”
The Libyan minister’s remarks came at a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Turkey’s top diplomatic and military officials, including Çavuşoğlu, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, Director of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Hakan Fidan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler arrived on Monday in Tripoli.
Libya’s interim government came into being in March, replacing two rival administrations – one based in Tripoli and the other in the country’s eastern region – which came about as a result of the separation of power in 2014.
Led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah, the new interim government has been backed by Turkey and EU countries against the eastern-based forces of Gen. Khalifa Haftar, which was mainly supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France.