Turkey will not leave Libya’s Sarraj alone, Erdoğan says

General Hafter, the leader of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), has been spoiled by foreign countries backing him and Turkey will not leave the U.N-recognised Libyan government of Fayez al-Sarraj, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday.

Erdoğan met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss the ongoing conflicts in Libya and Syria as well as the issues concerning Syrian refugees. Merkel arrived in Istanbul for a one-day official visit, after a multilateral summit held in Berlin last week to ensure a ceasefire among warring sides in Libya.

Hafter, who has led a months-long assault to capture Libyan capital, agreed to put forward nominees for a military committee to be set up, but has intensified its offence on Tripoli afterwards.

Erdoğan said during a joint press conference with Merkel that Hafter has been spoiled by United Arab Emirates, Egypt and the shadowy Wagner group linked to Russia.

The commander controlling the eastern and southern territories of Libya did not sign the 55-point final declaration agreed in Berlin, Erdoğan said. “It is not certain what Hafter will do tomorrow,” he said.

“We will not leave Sarraj alone,” Erdoğan said. “We are determined to give them every type of support we can,” he said, adding that Turkey had been sending military forces to Libya to train forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

“The fragile truce in Libya should be turned into permanent peace,” Merkel said during the press conference. “We expect Hafter to take positive steps,” Hürriyet daily quoted the German chancellor as saying.