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Libya’s warlord Haftar rejects call for ceasefire

EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
Commander of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry office after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow 29 November 2016.

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Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, rejected calls for a ceasefire by Turkey and Russia and announced a continuation of his military operations.
“We welcome Putin’s call for a ceasefire. However, our fight against terrorist organizations that seized Tripoli and received support of some countries will continue until the end”, Haftar’s spokesman said in a statement.
Last week, Turkey’s parliament passed a bill allowing the government to send troops to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
In an effort to put an end to the Libyan conflict, negotiations, known as the Berlin peace process, were held since September with the participation of France, Italy, Germany, and the UK.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 8 January called for a cease-fire in Libya by 12 January following a meeting in Istanbul. The call was welcomed by the GNA from its seat in Tripoli, against which Haftar’s forces launched an offensive in April. Haftar’s forces are supported by Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
The spokesman also said that Haftar claimed a revival of the political process and the country’s stability could only be assured by the “eradication of terrorist groups” and the dissolution of the militia controlling Tripoli.

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