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Turkey Upset by Sarraj's Plan to Step Down in Libya

Turkey Upset by Sarraj's Plan to Step Down in Libya

Friday, 18 September, 2020 - 11:45
FILE: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the Libyan National Accord Government, pose for a photo during a meeting in Istanbul, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey was upset that the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, wants to quit next month.

"A development like this, hearing such news, has been upsetting for us," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, adding that Turkish delegations may hold talks with Sarraj's government in the coming week.

"With these meetings, God willing we will turn this issue towards the direction it needs to go," he said.

Sarraj announced on Wednesday his intention to step down by the end of October. He accused certain parties, without naming them, of “betting on the choice of war.”

Sarraj also said that his government hadn’t been functioning under normal conditions, adding it had become the target of “local and foreign plots.”

A Turkish official told Reuters that Sarraj’s resignation announcement was the second recent surprise for Ankara in Libya after a ceasefire announcement last month.

"We would prefer for Sarraj to remain in his post because under his leadership a united Libya that has resolved its issues could emerge," the official said.

"If Sarraj does not remain in office, there are some names who are involved in the processes and can take the GNA forward. These are, of course, Libya’s own issues, but Turkey may provide some support,” he added.

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