Two workers from Turkey stranded in Libya's Sirte province, controlled by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, were handed over Saturday to Turkish authorities in Misrata, according to the Libyan Red Crescent.
The two were transferred to Gürkan Gürmeriçliler, Turkey's consul-general in Misrata, the group said on social media.
Gürmeriçliler told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the workers were rescued because of efforts made by the Turkish Embassy, in coordination with the Libyan Red Crescent and Turkey's Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).
The two talked to their families, and Gürmeriçliler noted they will be sent to Turkey within days.
The United Nations recognizes the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority, as Tripoli battles Haftar's militias. Libya's new government was founded in 2015 under a U.N.-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar's forces. Turkey also supports the GNA in Tripoli, while eastern-based illegitimate Haftar forces are mainly backed by Russia, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Russian plane brings Syrian fighters to Sirte
In the ongoing conflict between the two rival sides, the Libyan Army most recently on Saturday said that a Russian cargo plane carrying Syrian fighters landed in Sirte.
The aircraft arrived at 11 a.m. local time at Ghardabiya Air Base, according to officials from the Sirte and Jufra operation department of the Libyan Army.
On Aug. 21, the Libyan government announced a truce and ordered its military to stop operations against Haftar's militias.
The Libyan Army, however, has since reported several breaches of the cease-fire by the militias.
The U.N. and Germany are expected to co-chair a ministerial meeting on Monday of world powers and other countries with interests in Libya’s long-running civil war in hopes of promoting a cease-fire between its rival sides.
Günter Sautter, Germany’s deputy U.N. ambassador, said Friday the virtual meeting is “an important follow-up” to a conference of the same parties in Berlin on Jan. 19 that approved a 55-point road map to peace in oil-rich Libya and agreed to respect a much-violated arms embargo, hold off on military support to the warring parties and push them to reach a full cease-fire.
Sautter said Monday’s meeting “comes at a crucial moment.” He pointed to “some encouraging developments in Libya” including talks on security and “the long-term agreements on transition and progress on the question of oil exports."
Stephanie Williams, the top U.N. official for Libya, warned last month that the conflict-torn North African country is at “a decisive turning point” with foreign backers of its rival sides pouring in weapons in violation of the Berlin agreement and the misery of its people compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
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