On January 8, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin released a joint statement in which they called for reaching cease-fire in Libya by midnight of January 12.
Published on South Front, Jan 8, 2019
The announcement was made by Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu following a bilateral meeting between the two leaders in Istanbul.
During the meeting, Erdogan and Putin discuss the conflicts in Libya and Syria, the Iran-US tensions, the Russian-Turkish ties, and other developments.
“We have decided to take the initiative and, as intermediaries, call on all parties in Libya to stop hostilities as of 00.00 hours on 12 January, declare a sustainable cease-fire, supported by the necessary measures to be taken for stabilizing the situation on the ground and normalizing daily life in Tripoli and other cities, and immediately come together around a negotiating table with a view to putting an end to the sufferings of the Libyan people and bring back peace and prosperity to the country,” a joint statement issued by the two leaders said.
The joint statement emphasized the worsening situation in Libya and its negative impact on “the security and stability of Libya’s wider neighborhood, the entire Mediterranean region, as well as the African continent, triggering irregular migration, further spread of weapons, terrorism and other criminal activities including illicit trafficking.”
“We reaffirm our strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. Lasting peace and stability in the country can only be achieved by a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process based on sincere and inclusive dialogue among Libyans,” it said.
Turkey and Russia also declared their support for the ongoing Berlin Process, which “aims to create a conducive atmosphere to revitalize the U.N. facilitated political process, and remind that the Process can yield tangible results, with the involvement and commitment of Libyans and neighboring countries.”
It should be noted that Turkey and Russia support rival sides in the Libyan conflict. Turkey supports the Government of National Accord that controls Tripoli, Misrata and a smalll area around the cities, while Russia supports the Libyan National Army (LNA). The LNA controls most of the country and also receives support from the UAE and Egypt.
The joint Russian-Turkish call for ceasefire in Libya indicates that the sides found a kind of understanding and possibly agreed on the division of spheres of influence in the conflict. If the Russian-Turkish effort helps to de-escalte the situation and put an end to the terrorism threat and violence, it will become another success of the practical approach emplyoed by the both powers in their cooperation regarding the Middle East question.