Turkey has said that the leader of the eastern forces in Libya was not legitimate and his forces must withdraw from key positions for any credible deal to emerge.
Turkey and Russia agreed on Wednesday to keep pushing for a ceasefire in Libya
The two countries are the main power brokers in Libya’s conflict, where they support opposing sides. Russia backs the eastern-based forces of Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey has helped the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) repel Haftar’s attempt to storm the capital.
“We’ve just reached an agreement with Russia to work on a credible and sustainable ceasefire in Libya,” President Tayyip Erdogan’s top security adviser Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement.
Kalin said any deal must be based on a return to what he said were the Libyan frontlines in 2015, requiring Haftar’s forces to pull back from the Mediterranean city of Sirte, gateway to Libya’s eastern oilfields, and Jufra, an air base near the centre of the country.
The United States has said Moscow has sent warplanes to Jufra via Syria to support Russian mercenaries who are fighting alongside Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). But Moscow and the LNA both deny this.
Egypt, which also backs the LNA, has threatened to send troops into neighbouring Libya if the GNA and Turkish forces try to seize Sirte. The Egyptian parliament has already given a green light for possible military intervention.
Wednesday’s joint agreement by Turkey and Russia on their ceasefire efforts included a call for measures to allow humanitarian access to those in need and efforts to promote political dialogue between the rival Libya sides.