Erdoğan says Libya conflict cannot be solved by military means: report

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the Libyan cannot not be solved by military means after talks Sunday with his Algerian counterpart in Algiers, AFP reported.

Algeria, which shares a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) border with Libya, is trying to mediate a political settlement to the conflict gripping its neighbor that threatens regional stability.

“We have said from the beginning that the Libyan crisis would not be resolved through military means,” Erdoğan told reporters after meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

“We are in intense negotiations with the countries of the region and with international actors to secure the ceasefire and facilitate the return to political dialogue in Libya,” Erdoğan said.

The Libyan conflict deepened last year when military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of the south and east of Libya, launched an assault in April to seize Tripoli, base of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Ankara has sent military aid to the GNA, while Algiers last week hosted a meeting of Libya’s neighbors that rejected “any foreign interference” in that country and called for a negotiated settlement.

Tebboune said he was “in complete agreement” with Erdoğan on the need to “follow what was decided in Berlin” last Sunday, when world players called for an end to foreign interference in Libya and a resumption of the peace process.

Erdoğan’s visit came as the UN mission in Libya said weapons were pouring into the North African country in violation of a 2011 Security Council resolution and despite commitments by world powers in Berlin.

Before leaving Turkey for Algeria, Erdoğan claimed that Haftar was “constantly behind violations of the ceasefire” — referring to a truce that went into effect in Libya on Jan.12 at Moscow and Ankara’s initiative.

The Turkish president was accompanied to Algiers — the first leg of an Africa tour — by a high-level business delegation.

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