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LNA Threatens Turkey, Italy Rules Out Military Solution

LNA Threatens Turkey, Italy Rules Out Military Solution

Wednesday, 18 December, 2019 - 08:15
GNA leader Fayez al-Sarraj, right, meets Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Libya's capital, Tripoli. AFP

The spokesman for the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has threatened Turkey to defeat it and foil any attempt for military support to the Government of National Accord (GNA) that is headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

LNA spokesman Ahmed Mesmari said "Sarraj sold Libya to Turkey" after striking a military and security deal with Ankara last month.

The army won’t allow foreign troops in the country, said Mesmari, adding Libya “is not Qatar, which has been occupied by Turkey through its bases.”

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has reiterated his country's backing for the GNA in his first visit to the Libyan capital since his appointment.

The Italian official reaffirmed that “there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis” and that Italy backs UN-brokered efforts for political solutions.

He made his remarks during talks with Sarraj in Tripoli.

The Italian minister expressed hope that an international conference on Libya set to be held in Berlin in January, according to the UN, could lead to a "consensus" between countries involved in the Libyan crisis, a GNA statement said.

Sarraj hailed Italy's support for his government, saying all countries involved in the Libyan crisis should be invited to the conference.

On Thursday, Haftar urged his forces to advance towards the center of Tripoli in what he said would be the "final battle" for the capital.

He launched an offensive in April to take Tripoli from the GNA.

A prominent LNA officer told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the armed forces are about to seize the military academy.

“Zero hour doesn’t mean seizing the capital on the same day of Haftar’s announcement,” said the officer who requested anonymity.

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