Turkish Ambassador to Tunisia Ömer Faruk Doğan has denied a Tunisian news report accusing Ankara of sending Daesh terrorists to the Libyan capital Tripoli from Syria.
In a statement, Doğan described the report by private newspaper Al-Chourouk as "lies." The source "did not verify the authenticity of the information which was built on false statements," the diplomat stressed in the statement.
The Tunisian daily cited statements by Ahmad al-Mesmari, a spokesman for East Libya-based forces, in which he claimed that there were "open lines" to provide weapons and fighters from Turkey and Malta to the Tripoli-based government. "These baseless allegations do not serve peace in the region, nor Tunisian-Turkish relations, but weaken them, at a
time the entire region especially needs solidarity," Doğan said.
The Turkish envoy warned that such false news "leads to misleading the Tunisian public opinion, to which we attach great importance."
"Turkey has always defended the stability of Libya, which it considers a brotherly country like Tunisia, with both Turkey shares a common culture and history," he said, stressing that the country has always maintained close ties with Libya and that political dialogue is the solution to every problem between the two. Doğan went on to voice Turkey's hope for reaching "a political settlement to the Libyan crisis as soon as possible, with the need to maintain the country's unity and stability."
"Turkey also defends the unity of Syria and Iraq and all countries that see conflicts," Doğan said. Earlier this month, Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya's eastern-based government, embarked on an ambitious campaign to capture Trip
oli, where Libya's U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.
On Monday, the GNA said at least 76 people, including 24 civilians, had been killed since clashes erupted in the surroundings of Tripoli.
Libya has remained dogged by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Moammar Gadhafi after more than four decades in power.
Currently, two rival seats of power are vying for supremacy in Libya: An internationally recognized national unity government based in Tripoli and a government supported by a legislative assembly based in the eastern city of Tobruk.
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