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Turkey Affirms Continuous Support to GNA Despite Sarraj's Resignation Plan

Turkey Affirms Continuous Support to GNA Despite Sarraj's Resignation Plan

Tuesday, 22 September, 2020 - 06:30
Government of National Accord Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj speaks during a televised speech in Tripoli, Libya September 16, 2020, in this still image taken from a video. The Media Office of the Prime Minister/Handout via REUTERS

Turkey has expressed its intention to continue to support Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), despite an earlier announcement that Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj plans to resign by the end of next month.

Turkey’s agreements and cooperation with Libya’s GNA will continue despite Sarraj’s desire to quit, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin was quoted as saying on Monday.

"These accords will not be impacted by this political period because these are decisions made by the government, not by any individual," Kalin said.

Turkish officials may travel to Tripoli "in the coming days" to discuss developments, he added.

Turkey and the GNA signed on Nov. 27 two memorandums of understanding on determining both countries' marine jurisdictions and on security and military cooperation.

President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was upset by Sarraj's announcement that he planned to quit, but Kalin asserted Turkish support for the GNA and their bilateral agreements.

In a related context, the GNA declared a ceasefire last month and called for the lifting of a months-long blockade on oil output. The leader of the parliament in eastern Libya also appealed for a halt to hostilities, offering hope for a de-escalation of the conflict across Libya since a 2011 uprising.

Libya's eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar said on Friday he would lift for one month his blockade on oil outputs and that he had agreed with the GNA on "fair distribution" of energy revenue.

For its part, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has lifted a force majeure on what it deemed secure oil ports and facilities, but said the measure would remain in place for facilities where armed groups remain.

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