The attack launched by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar's forces in Libya on April 4, 2019, against the Government of National Accord (GNA), the only official body recognized by the United Nations, continues to have devastating effects in many aspects.
Haftar's forces – which have caused many civilian casualties by bombing a military college, hospitals and houses, in addition to escalating the atmosphere of violence and chaos in the country – is also exacerbating the country's refugee problem.
In addition to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which do not hide their support for Haftar, there are also those who pretend to criticize but continue to provide support, such as France and the U.S. In fact, the position of the White House, which initially wanted Haftar's forces to stop their attacks, became ambiguous after Haftar's phone conversation with Trump. According to the White House, Trump "recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system."
After months of turmoil, Turkey sent troops to Libya at the GNA's invitation to support the legitimate government abandoned by the international community. Although the Turkish military will not fight as a combat force, it is certain that the Turkish presence in the region sends a strong message to the Haftar front.
In a bid to end the cycle of violence through diplomacy, Turkey and Russia have taken the lead, just as they did in the process they started in Astana for Syria. For now, Haftar has refused to sign the cease-fire agreement, but the Berlin Conference is expected to be instrumental in producing a peaceful solution. That's why Haftar yesterday announced that he will attend the Berlin Conference in order not to be excluded from the negotiating table.
Frankly speaking, had Turkey not sent troops to Libya, the world would not have a "Libya question" at the moment. It was more of a question of "How will we share Libya's energy resources?" So, the agreement signed by the Fayez al-Sarraj-led GNA with Turkey would be a thing of the past.
However, after the Erdoğan-Putin meeting, Turkey and Russia called for a cease-fire, forcing the process to be resolved through diplomatic means. The world was led to the search for a new framework of solutions.
Prime Minister Sarraj, who was in Rome last week to meet with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, representing the GNA, said: "We welcome the cease-fire initiative proposed by Russia and Turkey on the condition of the withdrawal of the attacking group."
The United Nations mission in Libya announced it welcomed the cease-fire. The U.N. called on the parties to abide by the terms of the cease-fire and resolve the issues through dialogue.
Germany is organizing a conference in Berlin for a diplomatic solution in Libya this Sunday, while Italy's prime minister was welcomed by President Erdoğan in Ankara.
Italy, which has made it clear it does not want Turkey to be in the Libyan equation under any circumstances, wants to be involved in the bilateral structure that Turkey and Russia have established together. President Erdoğan is forcing the world into "diplomacy" in Libya by overcoming deep differences, as he did with Russia in Syria.
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